Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; Final 2015 and 2016 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish, 10249-10282 [2015-03896]

Download as PDF Vol. 80 Wednesday, No. 37 February 25, 2015 Part III Department of Commerce mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; Final 2015 and 2016 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish; Final Rule VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4717 Sfmt 4717 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 10250 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 140918791–4999–02] RIN 0648–XD516 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; Final 2015 and 2016 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; harvest specifications and closures. AGENCY: NMFS announces final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications, apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2015 and 2016 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the GOA. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the GOA in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. DATES: Harvest specifications and closures are effective at 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 25, 2015, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2016. SUMMARY: Electronic copies of the Final Alaska Groundfish Harvest Specifications Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Record of Decision (ROD), and the Supplementary Information Report (SIR) to the EIS prepared for this action are available from http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. The final 2014 Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for the groundfish resources of the GOA, dated November 2014, 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:// www.npfmc.org. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907–586–7228. NMFS manages the GOA groundfish fisheries in the exclusive economic zone of the GOA under the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 Alaska (FMP). The Council prepared the FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Regulations governing U.S. fisheries and implementing the FMP appear at 50 CFR parts 600, 679, and 680. 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 of which must be within the optimum yield (OY) range of 116,000 to 800,000 metric tons (mt). Section 679.20(c)(1) further requires NMFS to publish and solicit public comment on proposed annual TACs, Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limits, and seasonal allowances of pollock and Pacific cod. Upon consideration of public comment received under § 679.20(c)(1), NMFS must publish notice of final harvest specifications for up to two fishing years as annual target TAC, per § 679.20(c)(3)(ii). The final harvest specifications set forth in Tables 1 through 36 of this document reflect the outcome of this process, as required at § 679.20(c). The proposed 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA and Pacific halibut PSC limits were published in the Federal Register on December 8, 2014 (79 FR 72593). Comments were invited and accepted through January 7, 2015. NMFS did not receive any comments on the proposed harvest specifications. In December 2014, NMFS consulted with the Council regarding the 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications. After considering public testimony, as well as biological and economic data that were available at the Council’s December 2014 meeting, NMFS is implementing the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications, as recommended by the Council. For 2015, the sum of the TAC amounts is 536,158 mt. For 2016, the sum of the TAC amounts is 590,161 mt. sectors of trawl catcher/processors, trawl catcher vessels participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program, and trawl catcher vessels not participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program fishing for groundfish species other than pollock. The pollock directed fishery is not included in the Council’s recommended action, as that fishery is already subject to Chinook salmon PSC limits (§ 679.21(h)). NMFS published a notice of availability for Amendment 97 on June 5, 2014 (79 FR 32525). On September 3, 2014, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) approved Amendment 97. The proposed rule that would implement Amendment 97 published on June 25, 2014 (79 FR 35971), with public comments accepted through July 25, 2014. The proposed rule contains a description of the affected management areas and groundfish fisheries, the nonpollock trawl groundfish fisheries and associated sectors, the history and goals of Amendment 97, and the provisions of the proposed action. Those provisions include proposed Chinook salmon PSC limits by sector, seasonal allocations, and other aspects associated with the implementation of Chinook salmon PSC limits for the non-pollock trawl groundfish fisheries in the Western and Central GOA. One provision that could affect the 2016 Chinook salmon PSC limits is the ‘‘incentive buffer.’’ This mechanism provides for an increased annual Chinook salmon PSC limit if sectors catch less than their limit of Chinook salmon in the previous year. The final rule to implement Amendment 97 published on December 2, 2014 (79 FR 71350). The Chinook salmon PSC limits implemented by Amendment 97 were effective on January 1, 2015. Specific sector limits for the non-pollock groundfish fisheries are described later in this preamble. NMFS will monitor the Chinook salmon PSC in the non-pollock GOA groundfish fisheries and close an applicable sector if it reaches its 2015 Chinook salmon PSC limit. Other Actions Affecting the 2015 and 2016 Harvest Specifications Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) and TAC Specifications In December 2014, the Council, its Advisory Panel (AP), and its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) reviewed the most recent biological and harvest information about the condition of groundfish stocks in the GOA. This information was compiled by the Council’s GOA Groundfish Plan Team and was presented in the draft 2014 SAFE report for the GOA groundfish fisheries, dated November 2014 (see ADDRESSES). The SAFE report contains a review of the latest scientific analyses Amendment 97 to the FMP: Chinook Salmon Prohibited Species Catch Limits in the Non-Pollock Trawl Groundfish Fisheries In June 2013, the Council took final action to implement measures to control Chinook salmon PSC in all non-pollock trawl groundfish fisheries in the Western and Central GOA. This action, Amendment 97 to the FMP, would set an initial annual PSC limit of 7,500 Chinook salmon apportioned among the PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations and estimates of each species’ biomass and other biological parameters, as well as summaries of the available information on the GOA ecosystem and the economic condition of the groundfish fisheries off Alaska. From these data and analyses, the Plan Team estimates an overfishing level (OFL) and ABC for each species or species group. The 2014 report was made available for public review during the public comment period for the proposed harvest specifications. In previous years, the largest changes from the proposed to the final harvest specifications have been based on recent NMFS stock surveys, which provide updated estimates of stock biomass and spatial distribution, and changes to the models used for producing stock assessments. At the November 2014 Plan Team meeting, NMFS scientists presented updated and new survey results, changes to stock assessment models, and accompanying stock assessment estimates for all groundfish species and species groups that are included in the final 2014 SAFE report. The SSC reviewed this information at the December 2014 Council meeting. Changes from the proposed to the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications are discussed below. The final 2015 and 2016 OFLs, ABCs, and TACs are based on the best available biological and socioeconomic information, including projected biomass trends, information on assumed distribution of stock biomass, and revised methods used to calculate stock biomass. The FMP specifies the formulas, or tiers, to be used to compute OFLs and ABCs. The formulas applicable to a particular stock or stock complex are determined by the level of reliable information available to fisheries scientists. This information is categorized into a successive series of six tiers to define OFL and ABC amounts, with Tier 1 representing the highest level of information quality available and Tier 6 representing the lowest level of information quality available. The Plan Team used the FMP tier structure to calculate OFL and ABC amounts for each groundfish species. The SSC adopted the final 2015 and 2016 OFLs and ABCs recommended by the Plan Team for all groundfish species. The Council adopted the SSC’s OFL and ABC recommendations and the AP’s TAC recommendations. The final TAC recommendations were based on the ABCs as adjusted for other biological and socioeconomic considerations, including maintaining the sum of all TACs within the required OY range of 116,000 to 800,000 mt. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 The Council recommended 2015 and 2016 TACs that are equal to ABCs for sablefish, deep-water flatfish, rex sole, Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, dusky rockfish, rougheye rockfish, demersal shelf rockfish, thornyhead rockfish, ‘‘other rockfish,’’ big skates, longnose skates, other skates, sculpins, sharks, squids, and octopuses in the GOA. The Council recommended TACs for 2015 and 2016 that are less than the ABCs for pollock, Pacific cod, shallow-water flatfish in the Western GOA, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole in the Western and Central GOA, ‘‘other rockfish’’ in the Southeast Outside district, and Atka mackerel. The Pacific cod TACs are set to accommodate the State’s guideline harvest levels (GHLs) for Pacific cod so that the ABCs are not exceeded. The shallow-water flatfish, arrowtooth flounder, and flathead sole TACs are set to allow for increased harvest opportunities for these target species while conserving the halibut PSC limit for use in other, more fully utilized fisheries. The ‘‘other rockfish’’ TAC in the Southeast Outside District (SEO) is set to reduce the amount of discards. The Atka mackerel TAC is set to accommodate incidental catch amounts in other fisheries. The final 2015 and 2016 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 the groundfish stocks as described in the final 2014 SAFE report. NMFS also finds that the Council’s recommendations for OFLs, ABCs, and TACs are consistent with the biological condition of groundfish stocks as adjusted for other biological and socioeconomic considerations, including maintaining the total TAC within the OY range. NMFS reviewed the Council’s recommended TAC specifications and apportionments, and approves these harvest specifications under 50 CFR 679.20(c)(3)(ii). The apportionment of TAC amounts among gear types and sectors, processing sectors, and seasons is discussed below. Tables 1 and 2 list the final 2015 and 2016 OFLs, ABCs, TACs, and area apportionments of groundfish in the GOA. The sums of the 2015 and 2016 ABCs are 685,597 mt and 731,049 mt, respectively, which are higher in 2015 and 2016 than the 2014 ABC sum of 640,675 mt (79 FR 12890, March 6, 2014). PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 10251 Specification and Apportionment of TAC Amounts NMFS’ apportionment of groundfish species is based on the distribution of biomass among the regulatory areas over which NMFS manages the species. Additional regulations govern the apportionment of pollock, Pacific cod, and sablefish. Additional detail on the apportionment of pollock, Pacific cod, and sablefish are described below. The ABC for the pollock stock in the combined Western, Central, and West Yakutat Regulatory Areas (W/C/WYK) includes the amount for the GHL established by the State for the Prince William Sound (PWS) pollock fishery. The Plan Team, SSC, AP, and Council recommended that the sum of all State and Federal water pollock removals from the GOA not exceed ABC recommendations. Based on genetic studies, fisheries scientists believe that the pollock in PWS is not a separate stock from the combined W/C/WYK population. Since 1996, the Plan Team has had a protocol of recommending that the GHL amount be deducted from the GOA-wide ABC. For 2015 and 2016, the SSC recommended and the Council approved the W/C/WYK pollock ABC including the amount to account for the State’s PWS GHL. At the November 2014 Plan Team meeting, State fisheries managers recommended setting the PWS GHL at 2.5 percent of the annual W/C/WYK pollock ABC. For 2015, this yields a PWS pollock GHL of 4,783 mt, an increase of 620 mt from the 2014 PWS GHL of 4,163 mt. For 2016, the PWS pollock GHL is 6,271 mt, an increase of 2,108 mt from the 2014 PWS pollock GHL. The Council also adopted the SSC’s recommendation to revise the terminology used when apportioning pollock in the Western, Central, and West Yakutat Regulatory Areas. The SSC recommended describing apportionments of pollock to the Western, Central, and West Yakutat Regulatory Areas as ‘‘apportionments of annual catch limit (ACLs)’’ rather than ‘‘ABCs.’’ The SSC annually recommends a combined pollock ABC for the Western, Central, and West Yakutat Regulatory Areas based on factors such as scientific uncertainty in the estimate of the area-wide OFL, data uncertainty, and recruitment variability. Section 3.2.3.3.2 of FMP specifies that the ACL is equal to the ABC. Historically, the SSC has recommended apportioning the combined Western, Central, and West Yakutat ABC between these three individual Regulatory Areas. However, the subarea ABCs have not been based on scientific uncertainty in the OFL, E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 10252 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations data uncertainty, or other conservation or biological concerns, but rather on seasonal and spatial apportionment procedures established under the Steller sea lion protection measures for pollock TAC in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas. The SSC noted that describing subarea apportionments as ‘‘apportionments of the ACL’’ more accurately reflects that such apportionments address management, rather than biological or conservation, concerns. In addition, apportioning the ACL in this manner allow NMFS to balance any transfer of TAC from one area to another pursuant to regulations at § 679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B) to ensure that the area-wide ACL and ABC are not exceeded. The SSC noted that this terminology change is acceptable for pollock in the Western, Central, and West Yakutat Regulatory Areas only. There is one aggregate pollock OFL in these areas, and Steller sea lion protection measures provide a spatial and seasonal apportionment procedure for the pollock TAC in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas. This change is not applicable for pollock in the Southeast Outside GOA Regulatory Area, which is managed as a separate stock. NMFS establishes pollock TACs in the Western, Central, West Yakutat Regulatory Areas, and the Southeast Outside District of the GOA (see Tables 1 and 2). NMFS also establishes seasonal apportionments of the annual pollock TAC in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA among Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630. These apportionments are divided equally among each of the following four seasons: The A season (January 20 through March 10), the B season (March 10 through May 31), the C season (August 25 through October 1), and the D season (October 1 through November 1) (§ 679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), and § 679.20(a)(5)(iv)(A) and (B)). Additional detail is provided below; Tables 3 and 4 list these amounts. The 2015 and 2016 Pacific cod TACs are set to accommodate the State’s GHL for Pacific cod in State waters in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas, as well as in PWS. The Plan Team, SSC, AP, and Council recommended that the sum of all State and Federal water Pacific cod removals from the GOA not exceed ABC recommendations. Accordingly, the Council set the 2015 and 2016 Pacific cod TACs in the Eastern, Central, and Western Regulatory Areas to account for State GHLs. Therefore, the 2015 and 2016 Pacific cod TACs are less than the ABCs by the following amounts: (1) Eastern GOA, 707 mt; (2) Central GOA, 15,330 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 mt; and (3) Western GOA, 11,611 mt. These amounts reflect the sum of the State’s 2015 and 2016 GHLs in these areas, which are 25 percent of the Eastern and Central ABCs, and 30 percent of the Western GOA ABC. NMFS establishes seasonal apportionments of the annual Pacific cod TAC in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas. Sixty percent of the annual TAC is apportioned to the A season for hook-and-line, pot, and jig gear from January 1 through June 10, and for trawl gear from January 20 through June 10. Forty percent of the annual TAC is apportioned to the B season for hook-and-line, pot, and jig gear from September 1 through December 31, and for trawl gear from September 1 through November 1 (§§ 679.23(d)(3) and 679.20(a)(12)). The Central and Western GOA Pacific cod TACs are allocated among various gear and operational sectors. The Pacific cod sector apportionments are discussed in detail in a subsequent section of this preamble. The Council’s recommendation for sablefish area apportionments takes into account the prohibition on the use of trawl gear in the SEO District of the Eastern Regulatory Area and makes available 5 percent of the combined Eastern Regulatory Area ABCs to trawl gear for use as incidental catch in other groundfish fisheries in the WYK District (§ 679.20(a)(4)(i)). Tables 7 and 8 list the final 2015 and 2016 allocations of sablefish TAC to hook-and-line and trawl gear in the GOA. Changes From the Proposed 2015 and 2016 Harvest Specifications in the GOA In October 2014, the Council’s recommendations for the proposed 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications (79 FR 72593, December 8, 2014) were based largely on information contained in the final 2013 SAFE report for the GOA groundfish fisheries, dated November 2013 (see ADDRESSES). The Council proposed that the final OFLs, ABCs, and TACs established for the 2015 groundfish fisheries (79 FR 12890, March 6, 2014) be used for the proposed 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications, pending completion and review of the 2014 SAFE report at its December 2014 meeting. As described previously, the SSC adopted the final 2015 and 2016 OFLs and ABCs recommended by the Plan Team. The Council adopted the SSC’s OFL and ABC recommendations and the AP’s TAC recommendations for 2015 and 2016. The final 2015 ABCs are higher than the proposed 2015 ABCs published in the proposed 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications (79 FR PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 72593, December 8, 2014) for pollock, Pacific cod, sablefish, shallow-water flatfish, deep-water flatfish, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, Pacific ocean perch, dusky rockfish, longnose skate, and ‘‘other skates.’’ The final 2015 ABCs are lower than the proposed 2015 ABCs for northern rockfish, rougheye rockfish, demersal shelf rockfish, and big skates. The final 2016 ABCs are higher than the proposed 2016 ABCs for pollock, Pacific cod, shallow-water flatfish, flathead sole, Pacific ocean perch, longnose skate, and ‘‘other skates.’’ The final 2016 ABCs are lower than the proposed 2016 ABCs for deep-water flatfish, rex sole, arrowtooth flounder, northern rockfish, dusky rockfish, rougheye rockfish, and big skates. For the remaining target species—Atka mackerel, sculpins, sharks, squids, and octopus—the Council recommended, and the Secretary approved, the final 2015 and 2016 ABCs that are the same as the proposed 2015 and 2016 ABCs. Additional information explaining the changes between the proposed and final ABCs is included in the final 2014 SAFE report, which was not available when the Council made its proposed ABC and TAC recommendations in October 2014. At that time, the most recent stock assessment information was contained in the final 2013 SAFE report. The final 2014 SAFE report contains the best and most recent scientific information on the condition of the groundfish stocks, as previously discussed in this preamble, and is available for review (see ADDRESSES). The Council considered the final 2014 SAFE report in December 2014 when it made recommendations for the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications. In the GOA, the total final 2015 TAC amount is 536,158 mt, an increase of 5 percent from the total proposed 2015 TAC amount of 511,599 mt. The total final 2016 TAC amount is 590,161 mt, an increase of 15 percent from the total proposed 2016 TAC amount of 511,599 mt. The following table in this preamble summarizes the principle reason for the difference between the proposed and final TACs. Based on changes to the assessment method (model) used by stock assessment scientists, for 2015 and 2016 the greatest TAC increase is for Pacific cod. Based on changes in the estimates of overall biomass, the greatest TAC increases are for shallow-water flatfish, longnose skate, other skates, and Pacific ocean perch. Based upon changes in the estimates of biomass, the greatest decreases in TACs are for rougheye rockfish, demersal shelf rockfish, and big skate. For all other species and species groups, changes from the E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations proposed to the final TACs are within plus or minus five percent of the proposed TACs. These TAC changes correspond to associated changes in the ABCs and TACs, as recommended by the SSC, AP, and Council. Additionally, based upon the Council’s recommended changes in setting the TACs at amounts below ABCs, the greatest decreases in TACs are for shallow-water flatfish, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, and ‘‘other rockfish.’’ The Council believed, and NMFS concurs, that setting TACs for the three preceding flatfish species equal to ABCs would not reflect anticipated harvest levels accurately, as the Council and NMFS expect halibut PSC limits to constrain these fisheries in 2015 and 2016. Detailed information providing the basis for the changes described above is 10253 contained in the final 2014 SAFE report. The final TACs are based on the best scientific information available. These TACs are specified in compliance with the harvest strategy described in the proposed and final rules for the 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications. The changes in TACs between the proposed rule and this final rule are compared in the following table. COMPARISON OF PROPOSED AND FINAL 2015 AND 2016 GOA TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH LIMITS [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentage] 2015 and 2016 proposed TAC Species 2015 Final TAC 2015 Final minus 2015 Proposed TAC Percentage difference 2016 final minus 2016 proposed TAC 2016 final TAC Percentage difference Pollock .............................................................. Pacific cod ........................................................ Sablefish ........................................................... Shallow-water flatfish ........................................ Deep-water flatfish ............................................ Rex sole ............................................................ Arrowtooth flounder .......................................... Flathead sole .................................................... Pacific ocean perch .......................................... Northern rockfish .............................................. Shortraker rockfish ........................................... Dusky rockfish .................................................. Rougheye rockfish ............................................ Demersal shelf rockfish .................................... Thornyhead rockfish ......................................... Other rockfish ................................................... Atka mackerel ................................................... Big skate ........................................................... Longnose skate ................................................ Other skates ..................................................... Sculpins ............................................................ Sharks ............................................................... Squids ............................................................... Octopuses ......................................................... 193,809 61,519 9,554 32,027 13,303 9,155 103,300 27,726 19,764 5,010 1,323 5,081 1,262 274 1,841 1,811 2,000 3,762 2,876 1,989 5,569 5,989 1,148 1,507 199,151 75,202 10,522 35,381 13,334 9,150 103,300 27,756 21,012 4,998 1,323 5,109 1,122 225 1,841 1,811 2,000 3,255 3,218 2,235 5,569 5,989 1,148 1,507 5,342 13,683 968 3,354 31 ¥5 0 30 1,248 ¥12 0 28 ¥140 ¥49 0 0 0 ¥507 342 246 0 0 0 0 3 22 10 10 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 1 ¥11 ¥18 0 0 0 ¥13 12 12 0 0 0 0 257,178 75,202 9,558 32,877 13,177 8,979 103,300 27,759 21,436 4,721 1,323 4,711 1,142 225 1,841 1,811 2,000 3,255 3,218 2,235 5,569 5,989 1,148 1,507 63,369 13,683 4 850 ¥126 ¥176 0 33 1,672 ¥289 0 ¥370 ¥120 ¥49 0 0 0 ¥507 342 246 0 0 0 0 33 22 0 3 ¥1 ¥2 0 0 8 ¥6 0 ¥7 ¥10 ¥18 0 0 0 ¥13 12 12 0 0 0 0 Total ........................................................... 511,599 536,158 24,559 5 590,161 78,562 Principle reason for difference Model 1 Model N/A Biomass 2 Biomass Biomass N/A N/A Biomass Biomass N/A Biomass Biomass Biomass N/A N/A N/A Biomass Biomass Biomass N/A N/A N/A N/A 15 1 Model—Change in assessment methodology. 2 Biomass—Change in estimate of biomass. The final 2015 and 2016 TAC recommendations for the GOA are within the OY range established for the GOA and do not exceed the ABC for any species or species group. Tables 1 and 2 list the final OFL, ABC, and TAC amounts for GOA groundfish for 2015 and 2016, respectively. TABLE 1—FINAL 2015 ABCS, TACS, AND OFLS OF GROUNDFISH FOR THE WESTERN/CENTRAL/WEST YAKUTAT, WESTERN, CENTRAL, EASTERN REGULATORY AREAS, AND IN THE WEST YAKUTAT, SOUTHEAST OUTSIDE, AND GULFWIDE DISTRICTS OF THE GULF OF ALASKA [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Area 1 Pollock 2 ................................................................ mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Species Shumagin (610) .................................................... Chirikof (620) ........................................................ Kodiak (630) ......................................................... WYK (640) ............................................................ W/C/WYK (subtotal) ............................................. SEO (650) ............................................................ Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... E ........................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... E (WYK and SEO) (subtotal) ............................... Pacific cod 3 .......................................................... Sablefish 4 ............................................................. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 OFL E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM ABC TAC n/a n/a n/a n/a 256,545 16,833 273,378 n/a n/a n/a 140,300 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 31,634 97,579 52,594 4,719 191,309 12,625 203,934 38,702 61,320 2,828 102,850 1,474 4,658 1,708 2,682 4,390 31,634 97,579 52,594 4,719 186,526 12,625 199,151 27,091 45,990 2,121 75,202 1,474 4,658 1,708 2,682 4,390 25FER2 10254 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 1—FINAL 2015 ABCS, TACS, AND OFLS OF GROUNDFISH FOR THE WESTERN/CENTRAL/WEST YAKUTAT, WESTERN, CENTRAL, EASTERN REGULATORY AREAS, AND IN THE WEST YAKUTAT, SOUTHEAST OUTSIDE, AND GULFWIDE DISTRICTS OF THE GULF OF ALASKA—Continued [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Area 1 Species Shallow-water flatfish 5 .......................................... Deep-water flatfish 6 .............................................. Rex sole ................................................................ Arrowtooth flounder .............................................. Flathead sole ........................................................ Pacific ocean perch 7 ............................................ Northern rockfish 8 ................................................ Shortraker rockfish 9 ............................................. Dusky rockfish 10 ................................................... Rougheye and Blackspotted rockfish 11 ............... Demersal shelf rockfish 12 .................................... Thornyhead rockfish ............................................. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Other rockfish 13 14 ................................................. Atka mackerel ....................................................... Big skate 15 ........................................................... Longnose skate 16 ................................................. Other skates 17 ...................................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 OFL Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... W/C/WYK subtotal ................................................ SEO ...................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... E ........................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... E ........................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... E ........................................................................... Total ...................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... E ........................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W and C ............................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... Total ...................................................................... GW ....................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... E ........................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... E ........................................................................... Total ...................................................................... GW ....................................................................... PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM ABC TAC 12,425 n/a n/a n/a n/a 54,207 n/a n/a n/a n/a 15,993 n/a n/a n/a n/a 11,957 n/a n/a n/a n/a 226,390 n/a n/a n/a n/a 50,792 n/a n/a n/a 23,406 954 24,360 n/a n/a n/a 5,961 n/a n/a n/a 1,764 n/a n/a n/a n/a 6,246 n/a n/a n/a 1,345 361 n/a n/a n/a 2,454 n/a n/a n/a 5,347 6,200 n/a n/a n/a 4,340 n/a n/a n/a 4,291 2,980 10,522 22,074 19,297 2,209 625 44,205 301 3,689 5,474 3,870 13,334 1,258 5,816 772 1,304 9,150 30,752 114,170 36,771 11,228 192,921 12,767 24,876 3,535 171 41,349 2,302 15,873 2,014 20,189 823 21,012 1,226 3,772 n/a 4,998 92 397 834 1,323 296 3,336 1,288 189 5,109 115 632 375 1,122 225 235 875 731 1,841 1,031 580 2,469 4,080 4,700 731 1,257 1,267 3,255 152 2,090 976 3,218 2,235 10,522 13,250 19,297 2,209 625 35,381 301 3,689 5,474 3,870 13,334 1,258 5,816 772 1,304 9,150 14,500 75,000 6,900 6,900 103,300 8,650 15,400 3,535 171 27,756 2,302 15,873 2,014 20,189 823 21,012 1,226 3,772 n/a 4,998 92 397 834 1,323 296 3,336 1,288 189 5,109 115 632 375 1,122 225 235 875 731 1,841 1,031 580 200 1,811 2,000 731 1,257 1,267 3,255 152 2,090 976 3,218 2,235 25FER2 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 10255 TABLE 1—FINAL 2015 ABCS, TACS, AND OFLS OF GROUNDFISH FOR THE WESTERN/CENTRAL/WEST YAKUTAT, WESTERN, CENTRAL, EASTERN REGULATORY AREAS, AND IN THE WEST YAKUTAT, SOUTHEAST OUTSIDE, AND GULFWIDE DISTRICTS OF THE GULF OF ALASKA—Continued [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Area 1 Species Sculpins ................................................................ Sharks ................................................................... Squids ................................................................... Octopus ................................................................. Total ............................................................... GW GW GW GW OFL ABC TAC ....................................................................... ....................................................................... ....................................................................... ....................................................................... 7,448 7,986 1,530 2,009 5,569 5,989 1,148 1,507 5,569 5,989 1,148 1,507 ............................................................................... 870,064 685,597 536,158 1 Regulatory areas and districts are defined at § 679.2. (W = Western Gulf of Alaska; C = Central Gulf of Alaska; E = Eastern Gulf of Alaska; WYK = West Yakutat District; SEO = Southeast Outside District; GW = Gulf-wide). 2 The aggregate pollock ABC for the Western, Central, and West Yakutat Regulatory Areas is apportioned among four statistical areas after deducting 2.5 percent of the ABC for the State’s pollock GHL fishery. These apportionments are considered subarea ACLs, rather than ABCs, for specification and reapportionment purposes. The ACLs in Areas 610, 620, and 630 are further divided by season, as detailed in Table 3. In the West Yakutat and Southeast Outside Districts of the Eastern Regulatory Area, pollock is not divided into seasonal allowances. 3 The annual Pacific cod TAC is apportioned 60 percent to the A season and 40 percent to the B season in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA. Pacific cod in the Eastern Regulatory Area is allocated 90 percent for processing by the inshore component and 10 percent for processing by the offshore component. Table 5 lists the final 2015 Pacific cod seasonal apportionments. 4 Sablefish is allocated to trawl and hook-and-line gear in 2015. Table 7 lists the final 2015 allocations of sablefish TACs. 5 ‘‘Shallow-water flatfish’’ means flatfish not including ‘‘deep-water flatfish,’’ flathead sole, rex sole, or arrowtooth flounder. 6 ‘‘Deep-water flatfish’’ means Dover sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, and deepsea sole. 7 ‘‘Pacific ocean perch’’ means Sebastes alutus. 8 ‘‘Northern rockfish’’ means Sebastes polyspinis. For management purposes the 2 mt apportionment of ABC to the WYK District of the Eastern Gulf of Alaska has been included in the other rockfish species group. 9 ‘‘Shortraker rockfish’’ means Sebastes borealis. 10 ‘‘Dusky rockfish’’ means Sebastes variabilis. 11 ‘‘Rougheye rockfish’’ means Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted). 12 ‘‘Demersal shelf rockfish’’ means Sebastes pinniger (canary), S. nebulosus (china), S. caurinus (copper), S. maliger (quillback), S. helvomaculatus (rosethorn), S. nigrocinctus (tiger), and S. ruberrimus (yelloweye). 13 ‘‘Other rockfish’’ means Sebastes aurora (aurora), S. melanostomus (blackgill), S. paucispinis (bocaccio), S. goodei (chilipepper), S. crameri (darkblotch), S. elongatus (greenstriped), S. variegatus (harlequin), S. wilsoni (pygmy), S. babcocki (redbanded), S. proriger (redstripe), S. zacentrus (sharpchin), S. jordani (shortbelly), S. brevispinis (silvergrey), S. diploproa (splitnose), S. saxicola (stripetail), S. miniatus (vermilion), S. reedi (yellowmouth), S. entomelas (widow), and S. flavidus (yellowtail). In the Eastern GOA only, other rockfish also includes northern rockfish, S. polyspinis. 14 ‘‘Other rockfish’’ in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas and in the West Yakutat District means other rockfish and demersal shelf rockfish. The ‘‘other rockfish’’ species group in the SEO District only includes other rockfish. 15 ‘‘Big skate’’ means Raja binoculata. 16 ‘‘Longnose skate’’ means Raja rhina. 17 ‘‘Other skates’’ means Bathyraja spp. TABLE 2—FINAL 2016 ABCS, TACS, AND OFLS OF GROUNDFISH FOR THE WESTERN/CENTRAL/WEST YAKUTAT, WESTERN, CENTRAL, EASTERN REGULATORY AREAS, AND IN THE WEST YAKUTAT, SOUTHEAST OUTSIDE, AND GULFWIDE DISTRICTS OF THE GULF OF ALASKA [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Species Area 1 Pollock 2 ................................................................ Shumagin (610) .................................................... Chirikof (620) ........................................................ Kodiak (630) ......................................................... WYK (640) ............................................................ W/C/WYK (subtotal) ............................................. SEO (650) ............................................................ Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... E ........................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... E (WYK and SEO) (subtotal) ............................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... Pacific cod 3 .......................................................... mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Sablefish 4 ............................................................. Shallow-water flatfish 5 .......................................... Deep-water flatfish 6 .............................................. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 OFL E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM ABC TAC n/a n/a n/a n/a 321,067 16,833 337,900 n/a n/a n/a 133,100 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 11,293 n/a n/a n/a n/a 48,407 n/a n/a n/a n/a 41,472 127,936 68,958 6,187 250,824 12,625 263,449 38,702 61,320 2,828 102,850 1,338 4,232 1,552 2,436 3,988 9,558 19,577 17,114 1,959 554 39,204 299 3,645 5,409 3,824 41,472 127,936 68,958 6,187 244,553 12,625 257,178 27,091 45,990 2,121 75,202 1,338 4,232 1,552 2,436 3,988 9,558 13,250 17,114 1,959 554 32,877 299 3,645 5,409 3,824 25FER2 10256 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 2—FINAL 2016 ABCS, TACS, AND OFLS OF GROUNDFISH FOR THE WESTERN/CENTRAL/WEST YAKUTAT, WESTERN, CENTRAL, EASTERN REGULATORY AREAS, AND IN THE WEST YAKUTAT, SOUTHEAST OUTSIDE, AND GULFWIDE DISTRICTS OF THE GULF OF ALASKA—Continued [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Area 1 OFL ABC TAC Other skates 17 ...................................................... Sculpins ................................................................ Sharks ................................................................... Squids ................................................................... Octopus ................................................................. Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... W/C/WYK ............................................................. SEO ...................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... E ........................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... E ........................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... E ........................................................................... Total ...................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... E ........................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W and C ............................................................... WYK ..................................................................... SEO ...................................................................... Total ...................................................................... GW ....................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... E ........................................................................... Total ...................................................................... W .......................................................................... C ........................................................................... E ........................................................................... Total ...................................................................... GW ....................................................................... GW ....................................................................... GW ....................................................................... GW ....................................................................... GW ....................................................................... 15,803 n/a n/a n/a n/a 11,733 n/a n/a n/a n/a 217,522 n/a n/a n/a n/a 50,818 n/a n/a n/a 23,876 973 24,849 n/a n/a n/a 5,631 n/a n/a n/a 1,764 n/a n/a n/a n/a 5,759 n/a n/a n/a 1,370 361 n/a n/a n/a 2,454 n/a n/a n/a 5,347 6,200 n/a n/a n/a 4,340 n/a n/a n/a 4,291 2,980 7,448 7,986 1,530 2,009 13,177 1,234 5,707 758 1,280 8,979 29,545 109,692 35,328 10,787 185,352 12,776 24,893 3,538 171 41,378 2,358 16,184 2,055 20,597 839 21,436 1,158 3,563 n/a 4,721 92 397 834 1,323 273 3,077 1,187 174 4,711 117 643 382 1,142 225 235 875 731 1,841 1,031 580 2,469 4,080 4,700 731 1,257 1,267 3,255 152 2,090 976 3,218 2,235 5,569 5,989 1,148 1,507 13,177 1,234 5,707 758 1,280 8,979 14,500 75,000 6,900 6,900 103,300 8,650 15,400 3,538 171 27,759 2,358 16,184 2,055 20,597 839 21,436 1,158 3,563 n/a 4,721 92 397 834 1,323 273 3,077 1,187 174 4,711 117 643 382 1,142 225 235 875 731 1,841 1,031 580 200 1,811 2,000 731 1,257 1,267 3,255 152 2,090 976 3,218 2,235 5,569 5,989 1,148 1,507 Total ............................................................... ............................................................................... 910,895 731,049 590,161 Species Rex sole ................................................................ Arrowtooth flounder .............................................. Flathead sole ........................................................ Pacific ocean perch 7 ............................................ Northern rockfish 8 ................................................ Shortraker rockfish 9 ............................................. Dusky rockfish 10 ................................................... Rougheye and Blackspotted rockfish 11 ............... Demersal shelf rockfish 12 .................................... Thornyhead rockfish ............................................. Other rockfish 13 14 ................................................. Atka mackerel ....................................................... Big skate 15 ........................................................... mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Longnose skate 16 ................................................. 1 Regulatory areas and districts are defined at § 679.2. (W = Western Gulf of Alaska; C = Central Gulf of Alaska; E = Eastern Gulf of Alaska; WYK = West Yakutat District; SEO = Southeast Outside District; GW = Gulf-wide). VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 10257 2 The aggregate pollock ABC for the Western, Central, and West Yakutat Regulatory Areas is apportioned among four statistical areas after deducting 2.5 percent of the ABC for the State’s pollock GHL fishery. These apportionments are considered subarea ACLs, rather than ABCs, for specification and reapportionment purposes. The ACLs in Areas 610, 620, and 630 are further divided by season, as detailed in Table 4. In the West Yakutat and Southeast Outside Districts of the Eastern Regulatory Area, pollock is not divided into seasonal allowances. 3 The annual Pacific cod TAC is apportioned 60 percent to the A season and 40 percent to the B season in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA. Pacific cod in the Eastern Regulatory Area is allocated 90 percent for processing by the inshore component and 10 percent for processing by the offshore component. Table 6 lists the final 2016 Pacific cod seasonal apportionments. 4 Sablefish is only allocated to trawl gear for 2016. Table 8 lists the final 2016 allocation of sablefish TACs to trawl gear. 5 ‘‘Shallow-water flatfish’’ means flatfish not including ‘‘deep-water flatfish,’’ flathead sole, rex sole, or arrowtooth flounder. 6 ‘‘Deep-water flatfish’’ means Dover sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, and deepsea sole. 7 ‘‘Pacific ocean perch’’ means Sebastes alutus. 8 ‘‘Northern rockfish’’ means Sebastes polyspinis. For management purposes the 2 mt apportionment of ABC to the WYK District of the Eastern Gulf of Alaska has been included in the other rockfish species group. 9 ‘‘Shortraker rockfish’’ means Sebastes borealis. 10 ‘‘Dusky rockfish’’ means Sebastes variabilis. 11 ‘‘Rougheye rockfish’’ means Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted). 12 ‘‘Demersal shelf rockfish’’ means Sebastes pinniger (canary), S. nebulosus (china), S. caurinus (copper), S. maliger (quillback), S. helvomaculatus (rosethorn), S. nigrocinctus (tiger), and S. ruberrimus (yelloweye). 13 ‘‘Other rockfish’’ means Sebastes aurora (aurora), S. melanostomus (blackgill), S. paucispinis (bocaccio), S. goodei (chilipepper), S. crameri (darkblotch), S. elongatus (greenstriped), S. variegatus (harlequin), S. wilsoni (pygmy), S. babcocki (redbanded), S. proriger (redstripe), S. zacentrus (sharpchin), S. jordani (shortbelly), S. brevispinis (silvergrey), S. diploproa (splitnose), S. saxicola (stripetail), S. miniatus (vermilion), S. reedi (yellowmouth), S. entomelas (widow), and S. flavidus (yellowtail). In the Eastern GOA only, other rockfish also includes northern rockfish, S. polyspinis. 14 ‘‘Other rockfish’’ in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas and in the West Yakutat District means other rockfish and demersal shelf rockfish. The ‘‘other rockfish’’ species group in the SEO District only includes other rockfish. 15 ‘‘Big skate’’ means Raja binoculata. 16 ‘‘Longnose skate’’ means Raja rhina. 17 ‘‘Other skates’’ means Bathyraja spp. Apportionment of Reserves Section 679.20(b)(2) requires NMFS to set aside 20 percent of each TAC for pollock, Pacific cod, flatfish, sculpins, sharks, squids, and octopuses in reserve for possible apportionment at a later date during the fishing year. For 2015 and 2016, NMFS proposed reapportionment of all the reserves in the proposed 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications published in the Federal Register on December 8, 2014 (79 FR 72593). NMFS did not receive any public comments on the proposed reapportionments. For the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications, NMFS reapportioned, as proposed, all the reserves for pollock, Pacific cod, flatfish, sculpins, sharks, squids, and octopuses. The TACs listed in Tables 1 and 2 reflect reapportionments of reserve amounts for these species and species groups. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Apportionments of Pollock TAC Among Seasons and Regulatory Areas, and Allocations for Processing by Inshore and Offshore Components In the GOA, pollock is apportioned by season and area, and is further allocated for processing by inshore and offshore components. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B), the annual pollock TAC specified for the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA is apportioned into four equal seasonal allowances of 25 percent. As established by § 679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), the A, B, C, and D season allowances are available from January 20 to March 10, March 10 to May 31, August 25 to October 1, and October 1 to November 1, respectively. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 Pollock TACs in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA are apportioned among Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iv)(A). In the A and B seasons, the apportionments are in proportion to the distribution of pollock biomass based on the four most recent NMFS winter surveys. In the C and D seasons, the apportionments are in proportion to the distribution of pollock biomass based on the four most recent NMFS summer surveys. However, for 2015 and 2016, the Council recommended, and NMFS approves, averaging the winter and summer distribution of pollock in the Central Regulatory Area for the A season instead of using the distribution based on only the winter surveys. The average is intended to reflect the migration patterns and distribution of pollock, and the anticipated performance of the fishery, in that area during the A season for the 2015 and 2016 fishing years. For the A season, the apportionment is based on an adjusted estimate of the relative distribution of pollock biomass of approximately 8 percent, 67 percent, and 25 percent in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, respectively. For the B season, the apportionment is based on the relative distribution of pollock biomass at 8 percent, 83 percent, and 9 percent in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, respectively. For the C and D seasons, the apportionment is based on the relative distribution of pollock biomass at 27 percent, 32 percent, and 41 percent in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, respectively. Within any fishing year, the amount by which a seasonal allowance is underharvested or overharvested may be PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 added to, or subtracted from, subsequent seasonal allowances in a manner to be determined by the Regional Administrator (§ 679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B)). The rollover amount is limited to 20 percent of the subsequent seasonal apportionment for the statistical area. Any unharvested pollock above the 20-percent limit could be further distributed to the other statistical areas, in proportion to the estimated biomass in the subsequent season in those statistical areas (§ 679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B)). The pollock TACs in the WYK and SEO District of 4,719 mt and 12,625 mt, respectively, in 2015, and 6,187 mt and 12,625 mt, respectively, in 2016, are not allocated by season. Section 679.20(a)(6)(i) requires the allocation of 100 percent of the pollock TAC in all regulatory areas and all seasonal allowances to vessels catching pollock for processing by the inshore component after subtraction of amounts projected by the Regional Administrator to be caught by, or delivered to, the offshore component incidental to directed fishing for other groundfish species. Thus, the amount of pollock available for harvest by vessels harvesting pollock for processing by the offshore component is that amount that will be taken as incidental catch during directed fishing for groundfish species other than pollock, up to the maximum retainable amounts allowed by § 679.20(e) and (f). At this time, these incidental catch amounts of pollock are unknown and will be determined during the fishing year during the course of fishing activities by the offshore component. E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 10258 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Tables 3 and 4 list the final 2015 and 2016 seasonal biomass distribution of pollock in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas, area apportionments, and seasonal allowances. The amounts of pollock for processing by the inshore and offshore components are not shown. TABLE 3—FINAL 2015 DISTRIBUTION OF POLLOCK IN THE CENTRAL AND WESTERN REGULATORY AREAS OF THE GOA; SEASONAL BIOMASS DISTRIBUTION, AREA APPORTIONMENTS; AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF ANNUAL TAC [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages are rounded to the nearest 0.01] Season 1 Shumagin (Area 610) Chirikof (Area 620) Kodiak (Area 630) Total 2 A (Jan 20–Mar 10) ................................... B (Mar 10–May 31) .................................. C (Aug 25–Oct 1) ..................................... D (Oct 1–Nov 1) ....................................... 3,632 3,632 12,185 12,185 (7.99%) (7.99%) (26.81%) (26.81%) 30,503 37,820 14,628 14,628 (67.11%) (83.21%) (32.18%) (32.18%) 11,316 4,000 18,639 18,639 (24.90%) (8.80%) (41.01%) (41.01%) 45,452 45,452 45,452 45,452 Annual Total ...................................... 31,634 .................... 97,579 .................... 52,594 .................... 181,806 1 As established by § 679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), the A, B, C, and D season allowances are available from January 20 to March 10, March 10 to May 31, August 25 to October 1, and October 1 to November 1, respectively. The amounts of pollock for processing by the inshore and offshore components are not shown in this table. 2 The WYK and SEO District pollock TACs are not allocated by season and are not included in the total pollock TACs shown in this table. TABLE 4—FINAL 2016 DISTRIBUTION OF POLLOCK IN THE CENTRAL AND WESTERN REGULATORY AREAS OF THE GOA; SEASONAL BIOMASS DISTRIBUTION, AREA APPORTIONMENTS; AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF ANNUAL TAC [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages are rounded to the nearest 0.01] Season 1 Shumagin (Area 610) Chirikof (Area 620) Kodiak (Area 630) Total 2 A (Jan 20–Mar 10) ................................... B (Mar 10–May 31) .................................. C (Aug 25–Oct 1) ..................................... D (Oct 1–Nov 1) ....................................... 4,760 4,760 15,975 15,975 (7.99%) (7.99%) (26.81%) (26.81%) 39,992 49,586 19,179 19,179 (67.11%) (83.21%) (32.18%) (32.18%) 14,839 5,245 24,437 24,437 (24.90%) (8.80%) (41.01%) (41.01%) 59,592 59,592 59,592 59,592 Annual Total ...................................... 41,472 .................... 127,936 .................... 68,958 .................... 238,366 1 As established by § 679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), the A, B, C, and D season allowances are available from January 20 to March 10, March 10 to May 31, August 25 to October 1, and October 1 to November 1, respectively. The amounts of pollock for processing by the inshore and offshore components are not shown in this table. 2 The WYK and SEO District pollock TACs are not allocated by season and are not included in the total pollock TACs shown in this table. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Annual and Seasonal Apportionments of Pacific Cod TAC Section 679.20(a)(12)(i) requires the allocation of the Pacific cod TACs in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA among gear and operational sectors. Section 679.20(a)(6)(ii) requires the allocation of the Pacific cod TACs in the Eastern Regulatory Area of the GOA between the inshore and offshore components. NMFS allocates the 2015 and 2016 Pacific cod TAC based on these sector allocations annually between the inshore and offshore components in the Eastern GOA; seasonally between vessels using jig gear, catcher vessels (CVs) using hookand-line gear, catcher/processors (C/Ps) using hook-and-line gear, CVs using trawl gear, and vessels using pot gear in the Western GOA; seasonally between vessels using jig gear, CVs less than 50 feet in length overall using hook-andline gear, CVs equal to or greater than 50 feet in length overall using hook-andline gear, C/Ps using hook-and-line gear, CVs using trawl gear, C/Ps using trawl gear, and vessels using pot gear in the Central GOA. The overall seasonal apportionments in the Western and VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 Central GOA are 60 percent of the annual TAC to the A season and 40 percent of the annual TAC to the B season. Under § 679.20(a)(12)(ii), any overage or underage of the Pacific cod allowance from the A season will be subtracted from, or added to, the subsequent B season allowance. In addition, any portion of the hook-and-line, trawl, pot, or jig sector allocations that NMFS determines is likely to go unharvested by a sector may be reapportioned to other sectors for harvest during the remainder of the fishery year. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(12)(i)(A) and (B), a portion of the annual Pacific cod TACs in the Western and Central GOA will be allocated to vessels with an FFP that use jig gear before TAC is apportioned among other non-jig sectors. In accordance with the FMP, the annual jig sector allocations may increase to up to 6 percent of the annual Western and Central GOA Pacific cod TACs, depending on the annual performance of the jig sector (See Table 1 of Amendment 83 to the FMP for a detailed discussion of the jig sector allocation process (76 FR 74670, December 1, 2011)). Jig sector allocation PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 increases are established for a minimum of 2 years. NMFS has evaluated the 2014 harvest performance of the jig sector in the Western and Central GOA, and is revising the 2015 and 2016 Pacific cod apportionments to this sector as follows. NMFS allocates the jig sector 3.5 percent of the annual Pacific cod TAC in the Western GOA, a 1.0 percent increase from the 2014 jig sector allocation. The 2015 and 2016 allocations include a base allocation of 1.5 percent, an addition of 1.0 percent and an additional 2.0 percent because this sector harvested greater than 90 percent of its initial 2012 and 2014 allocations in the Western GOA. NMFS also allocates the jig sector 1.0 percent of the annual Pacific cod TAC in the Central GOA, a 1.0 percent decrease from the 2014 jig sector allocation. The 2015 and 2016 allocations consist of a base allocation of 1.0 percent. The Central GOA jig sector harvested greater than 90 percent of its initial 2012 allocation in the Central GOA and received an additional 1.0 percent of the Central GOA Pacific cod TAC in 2013 and 2014. However, in both 2013 and 2014, the jig sector harvested less than 90 percent of the annual Central GOA E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 10259 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Pacific cod allocation, resulting in the loss of this sector’s performance-based 1.0 percent increase. Tables 5 and 6 list the seasonal apportionments and allocations of the 2015 and 2016 Pacific cod TACs. TABLE 5—FINAL 2015 SEASONAL APPORTIONMENTS AND ALLOCATION OF PACIFIC COD TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH AMOUNTS IN THE GOA; ALLOCATIONS FOR THE WESTERN GOA AND CENTRAL GOA SECTORS AND THE EASTERN GOA INSHORE AND OFFSHORE PROCESSING COMPONENTS [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages to the nearest 0.01. Seasonal allowances may not total precisely to annual allocation amount] A Season Annual allocation (mt) Regulatory area and sector Sector percentage of annual non-jig TAC B Season Seasonal allowances (mt) Sector percentage of annual non-jig TAC Seasonal allowances (mt) Western GOA: Jig (3.5% of TAC) ......................................................... Hook-and-line CV ......................................................... Hook-and-line C/P ........................................................ Trawl CV ....................................................................... Trawl C/P ...................................................................... All Pot CV and Pot C/P ................................................ 948 366 5,176 10,039 627 9,934 N/A 0.70 10.90 27.70 0.90 19.80 569 183 2,850 7,242 235 5,176 N/A 0.70 8.90 10.70 1.50 18.20 379 183 2,327 2,797 392 4,758 Total ....................................................................... 27,091 60.00 16,255 40.00 10,837 Central GOA: Jig (1.0% of TAC) ......................................................... Hook-and-line <50 CV .................................................. Hook-and-line ≥50 CV .................................................. Hook-and-line C/P ........................................................ Trawl CV 1 ..................................................................... Trawl C/P ...................................................................... All Pot CV and Pot C/P ................................................ 460 6,648 3,054 2,324 18,933 1,911 12,660 N/A 9.32 5.61 4.11 21.14 2.00 17.83 276 4,241 2,554 1,870 9,623 912 8,118 N/A 5.29 1.10 1.00 20.45 2.19 9.97 184 2,407 500 454 9,310 999 4,542 Total ....................................................................... 45,990 60.00 27,594 40.00 18,396 Eastern GOA ........................................................................ ........................ Inshore (90% of Annual TAC) Offshore (10% of Annual TAC) 1,909 212 2,121 1 Trawl vessels participating in Rockfish Program cooperatives receive 3.81 percent of the annual Central GOA TAC (see Table 28c to 50 CFR part 679), which is deducted from the Trawl CV B season allowance (see Table 12). TABLE 6—FINAL 2016 SEASONAL APPORTIONMENTS AND ALLOCATION OF PACIFIC COD TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH AMOUNTS IN THE GOA; ALLOCATIONS FOR THE WESTERN GOA AND CENTRAL GOA SECTORS AND THE EASTERN GOA INSHORE AND OFFSHORE PROCESSING COMPONENTS [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages to the nearest 0.01. Seasonal allowances may not total precisely to annual allocation amount.] A Season Annual allocation (mt) Regulatory area and sector Sector percentage of annual non-jig TAC B Season Seasonal allowances (mt) Sector percentage of annual non-jig TAC Seasonal allowances (mt) mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Western GOA: Jig (3.5% of TAC) ......................................................... Hook-and-line CV ......................................................... Hook-and-line C/P ........................................................ Trawl CV ....................................................................... Trawl C/P ...................................................................... All Pot CV and Pot C/P ................................................ 948 366 5,176 10,039 627 9,934 N/A 0.70 10.90 27.70 0.90 19.80 569 183 2,850 7,242 235 5,176 N/A 0.70 8.90 10.70 1.50 18.20 379 183 2,327 2,797 392 4,758 Total ....................................................................... 27,091 60.00 16,255 40.00 10,837 Central GOA: Jig (1.0% of TAC) ......................................................... Hook-and-line <50 CV .................................................. Hook-and-line ≥50 CV .................................................. Hook-and-line C/P ........................................................ Trawl CV 1 ..................................................................... Trawl C/P ...................................................................... All Pot CV and Pot C/P ................................................ 460 6,648 3,054 2,324 18,933 1,911 12,660 N/A 9.32 5.61 4.11 21.14 2.00 17.83 276 4,241 2,554 1,870 9,623 912 8,118 N/A 5.29 1.10 1.00 20.45 2.19 9.97 184 2,407 500 454 9,310 999 4,542 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 10260 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 6—FINAL 2016 SEASONAL APPORTIONMENTS AND ALLOCATION OF PACIFIC COD TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH AMOUNTS IN THE GOA; ALLOCATIONS FOR THE WESTERN GOA AND CENTRAL GOA SECTORS AND THE EASTERN GOA INSHORE AND OFFSHORE PROCESSING COMPONENTS—Continued [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages to the nearest 0.01. Seasonal allowances may not total precisely to annual allocation amount.] A Season Annual allocation (mt) Regulatory area and sector Total ....................................................................... Sector percentage of annual non-jig TAC 45,990 Eastern GOA ........................................................................ 60.00 B Season Seasonal allowances (mt) 27,594 Sector percentage of annual non-jig TAC 40.00 Seasonal allowances (mt) 18,396 Inshore (90% of Annual TAC) Offshore (10% of Annual TAC) 1,909 212 2,121 1 Trawl vessels participating in Rockfish Program cooperatives receive 3.81 percent of the annual Central GOA TAC (see Table 28c to 50 CFR part 679), which is deducted from the Trawl CV B season allowance (see Table 13). Allocations of the Sablefish TACs Section 679.20(a)(4)(i) and (ii) require allocations of sablefish TACs for each of the regulatory areas and districts to hook-and-line and trawl gear. In the Western and Central Regulatory Areas, 80 percent of each TAC is allocated to hook-and-line gear, and 20 percent of each TAC is allocated to trawl gear. In the Eastern Regulatory Area, 95 percent of the TAC is allocated to hook-and-line gear, and 5 percent is allocated to trawl gear. The trawl gear allocation in the Eastern Regulatory Area may only be used to support incidental catch of sablefish in directed fisheries for other target species (§ 679.20(a)(4)(i)). In recognition of the prohibition against trawl gear in the SEO District of the Eastern Regulatory Area, the Council recommended and NMFS approves the allocation of 5 percent of the combined Eastern Regulatory Area sablefish TAC to trawl gear in the WYK District, making the remainder of the WYK sablefish TAC available to vessels using hook-and-line gear. NMFS allocates 100 percent of the sablefish TAC in the SEO District to vessels using hook-and-line gear. This action results in a 2015 allocation of 220 mt to trawl gear and 1,489 mt to hook-and-line gear in the WYK District, a 2015 allocation of 2,682 mt to hook-and-line gear in the SEO District, and a 2016 allocation of 199 mt to trawl gear in the WYK District. Table 7 lists the allocations of the 2015 sablefish TACs to hook-and-line and trawl gear. Table 8 lists the allocations of the 2016 sablefish TACs to trawl gear. The Council recommended that the hook-and-line sablefish TAC be established annually to ensure that this Individual Fishery Quota (IFQ) fishery is conducted concurrently with the halibut IFQ fishery and is based on recent sablefish survey information. The Council also recommended that only a trawl sablefish TAC be established for two years so that retention of incidental catch of sablefish by trawl gear could commence in January in the second year of the groundfish harvest specifications. Since there is an annual assessment for sablefish and the final harvest specifications are expected to be published before the IFQ season begins March 14, 2015, the Council recommended that the hook-and-line sablefish TAC be set on an annual basis, rather than for two years, so that the best scientific information available could be considered in establishing the sablefish ABCs and TACs. With the exception of the trawl allocations that were provided to the Rockfish Program cooperatives, directed fishing for sablefish with trawl gear is closed during the fishing year. Also, fishing for groundfish with trawl gear is prohibited prior to January 20. Therefore, it is not likely that the sablefish allocation to trawl gear would be reached before the effective date of the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications. TABLE 7—FINAL 2015 SABLEFISH TAC SPECIFICATIONS IN THE GOA AND ALLOCATIONS TO HOOK-AND-LINE AND TRAWL GEAR [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Area/district Hook-and-line allocation TAC Trawl allocation 1,474 4,658 1,708 2,682 1,179 3,726 1,489 2,682 295 932 220 0 Total ...................................................................................................................................... mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Western ........................................................................................................................................ Central ......................................................................................................................................... West Yakutat 1 ............................................................................................................................. Southeast Outside ....................................................................................................................... 10,522 9,076 1,446 1 The trawl allocation is based on allocating 5 percent of the combined Eastern Regulatory Area (West Yakutat and Southeast Outside combined) sablefish TAC to trawl gear in the West Yakutat District. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 10261 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 8—FINAL 2016 SABLEFISH TAC SPECIFICATIONS IN THE GOA AND ALLOCATION TO TRAWL GEAR 1 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Area/district Hook-and-line allocation TAC Trawl allocation Western ........................................................................................................................................ Central ......................................................................................................................................... West Yakutat 2 ............................................................................................................................. Southeast Outside ....................................................................................................................... 1,338 4,232 1,552 2,436 n/a n/a n/a n/a 268 846 199 0 Total ...................................................................................................................................... 9,558 n/a 1,313 1 The Council recommended that harvest specifications for the hook-and-line gear sablefish Individual Fishing Quota fisheries be limited to 1 year. 2 The trawl allocation is based on allocating 5 percent of the combined Eastern Regulatory Area (West Yakutat and Southeast Outside combined) sablefish TAC to trawl gear in the West Yakutat District. Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR) The recommended 2015 and 2016 DSR TAC is 225 mt, and management of DSR is delegated to the State. The Alaska Board of Fish has apportioned the annual SEO District DSR TACs between the commercial fishery (84 percent) and the sport fishery (16 percent) after deductions were made for anticipated subsistence harvests (7 mt). This results in 2015 and 2016 allocations of 183 mt to the commercial fishery and 35 mt to the sport fishery. The State deducts estimates of incidental catch of DSR in the commercial halibut fishery and test fishery mortality from the DSR commercial fishery allocation. In 2014, this resulted in 32 mt being available for the directed commercial DSR fishery apportioned in one DSR district. The State estimated that there was not sufficient DSR quota available to have orderly fisheries in the three other DSR districts. DSR harvest in the halibut fishery is linked to the annual halibut catch limits; therefore the State can only estimate potential DSR incidental catch because halibut catch limits are established by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). Federally permitted CVs using hook-and-line or jig gear fishing for groundfish and Pacific halibut in the SEO District of the GOA are required to retain all DSR (§ 679.20(j)). Apportionments to the Central GOA Rockfish Program These final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for the GOA include the various fishery cooperative allocations and sideboard limitations established by the Central GOA Rockfish Program. Program participants are primarily trawl CVs and trawl C/Ps, with limited participation by vessels using longline gear. The Rockfish Program assigns quota share and cooperative quota to participants for primary and secondary species, allows participants holding a license limitation program (LLP) license with rockfish quota share to form a rockfish cooperative, and allows holders of C/P LLP licenses to opt out of the fishery. The Rockfish Program also has an entry level fishery for rockfish primary species for vessels using longline gear. Under the Rockfish Program, rockfish primary species (Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, and dusky rockfish) in the Central GOA are allocated to participants after deducting for incidental catch needs in other directed groundfish fisheries. Participants in the Rockfish Program also receive a portion of the Central GOA TAC of specific secondary species (Pacific cod, rougheye rockfish, sablefish, shortraker rockfish, and thornyhead rockfish). Additionally, the Rockfish Program establishes sideboard limits to restrict the ability of harvesters operating under the Rockfish Program to increase their participation in other, non-Rockfish Program fisheries. Besides groundfish species, the Rockfish Program allocates a portion of the trawl halibut PSC limit (191 mt) from the third season deepwater species fishery allowance for the GOA trawl fisheries to Rockfish Program participants (§ 679.81(d)), which includes 117 mt to the trawl CV sector and 74 mt to the trawl C/P sector. Section 679.81(a)(2)(ii) requires allocations of 5 mt of Pacific ocean perch, 5 mt of northern rockfish, and 30 mt of dusky rockfish to the entry level longline fishery in 2015 and 2016. The allocation for the entry level longline fishery would increase incrementally each year if the catch exceeds 90 percent of the allocation of a species. The incremental increase in the allocation would continue each year until it is the maximum percent of the TAC for that species. In 2014, the catch did not exceed 90 percent of any allocated rockfish species. Therefore, NMFS is not increasing the entry level longline fishery 2015 and 2016 allocations in the Central GOA. Longline gear includes hook-and-line, jig, troll, and handline gear. The remainder of the TACs for the rockfish primary species would be allocated to the CV and C/P cooperatives. Table 9 lists the allocations of the 2015 and initial 2016 TACs for each rockfish primary species to the entry level longline fishery, the incremental increase for future years, and the maximum percent of the TAC for the entry level longline fishery. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 TABLE 9—FINAL 2015 AND INITIAL 2016 ALLOCATIONS OF ROCKFISH PRIMARY SPECIES TO THE ENTRY LEVEL LONGLINE FISHERY IN THE CENTRAL GULF OF ALASKA Rockfish primary species 2015 and 2016 allocations Incremental increase in 2016 if ≥90% of 2015 allocation is harvested Pacific ocean perch ................................. Northern rockfish ..................................... Dusky rockfish ......................................... 5 metric tons ............................................ 5 metric tons ............................................ 30 metric tons .......................................... 5 metric tons ............................................ 5 metric tons ............................................ 20 metric tons .......................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 Up to maximum % of TAC 1 2 5 10262 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Section 679.81(a)(2) requires allocations of the rockfish primary species among various sectors of the Rockfish Program. Tables 10 and 11 list the final 2015 and 2016 allocations of rockfish primary species in the Central GOA to the entry level longline fishery and Rockfish CV and C/P Cooperatives in the Rockfish Program. NMFS also is setting aside incidental catch amounts (ICAs) for other directed fisheries in the Central GOA of 2,000 mt of Pacific ocean perch, 200 mt of northern rockfish, and 250 mt of dusky rockfish. These amounts are based on recent average incidental catches in the Central GOA by other groundfish fisheries. Allocations between vessels belonging to CV or C/P cooperatives are not included in these final harvest specifications. Rockfish Program applications for CV cooperatives and C/P cooperatives are not due to NMFS until March 1 of each calendar year, therefore, NMFS cannot calculate 2015 and 2016 allocations in conjunction with these final harvest specifications. NMFS will post these allocations on the Alaska Region Web site at (http:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/ sustainablefisheries/rockfish/) when they become available after March 1. TABLE 10—FINAL 2015 ALLOCATIONS OF ROCKFISH PRIMARY SPECIES IN THE CENTRAL GULF OF ALASKA TO THE ENTRY LEVEL LONGLINE FISHERY AND ROCKFISH COOPERATIVES IN THE ROCKFISH PROGRAM [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Rockfish primary species Incidental catch allowance TAC TAC minus ICA Allocation to the entry level longline 1 fishery Allocation to the Rockfish Cooperatives 2 Pacific ocean perch ............................................................. Northern rockfish .................................................................. Dusky rockfish ...................................................................... 15,873 3,772 3,336 2,000 200 250 13,873 3,572 3,086 5 5 30 13,868 3,567 3,056 Total .............................................................................. 22,981 2,450 20,531 40 20,491 1 Longline 2 Rockfish gear includes hook-and-line, jig, troll, and handline gear. Cooperatives include vessels in CV and C/P cooperatives. TABLE 11—FINAL 2016 ALLOCATIONS OF ROCKFISH PRIMARY SPECIES IN THE CENTRAL GULF OF ALASKA TO THE ENTRY LEVEL LONGLINE FISHERY AND ROCKFISH COOPERATIVES IN THE ROCKFISH PROGRAM [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Rockfish primary species Incidental catch allowance TAC TAC minus ICA Allocation to the entry level longline 1 fishery Allocation to the Rockfish Cooperatives 2 Pacific ocean perch ............................................................. Northern rockfish .................................................................. Dusky rockfish ...................................................................... 16,184 3,563 3,077 2,000 200 250 14,184 3,363 2,827 5 5 30 14,179 3,358 2,797 Total .............................................................................. 22,824 2,450 20,374 40 20,334 1 Longline gear includes hook-and-line, jig, troll, and handline gear. 2 Rockfish Cooperatives include vessels in CV and C/P cooperatives. Section 679.81(c) requires allocations of rockfish secondary species to CV and C/P cooperatives in the Central GOA. CV cooperatives receive allocations of Pacific cod, sablefish from the trawl gear allocation, and thornyhead rockfish. C/ P cooperatives receive allocations of sablefish from the trawl allocation, rougheye rockfish, shortraker rockfish, and thornyhead rockfish. Tables 12 and 13 list the apportionments of the 2015 and 2016 TACs of rockfish secondary species in the Central GOA to CV and C/P cooperatives. TABLE 12—FINAL 2015 APPORTIONMENTS OF ROCKFISH SECONDARY SPECIES IN THE CENTRAL GOA TO CATCHER VESSEL AND CATCHER/PROCESSOR COOPERATIVES [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Catcher vessel cooperatives Annual central GOA TAC mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Rockfish secondary species Pacific cod ............................................................................ Sablefish .............................................................................. Shortraker rockfish ............................................................... Rougheye rockfish ............................................................... Thornyhead rockfish ............................................................ VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00014 Percentage of TAC Apportionment (mt) Percentage of TAC Apportionment (mt) 3.81 6.78 0.00 0.00 7.84 1,752 316 ........................ ........................ 69 0.00 3.51 40.00 58.87 26.50 ........................ 163 159 372 232 45,990 4,658 397 632 875 Fmt 4701 Catcher/processor cooperatives Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 10263 TABLE 13—FINAL 2016 APPORTIONMENTS OF ROCKFISH SECONDARY SPECIES IN THE CENTRAL GOA TO CATCHER VESSEL AND CATHER/PROCESSOR COOPERATIVES [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Catcher vessel cooperatives Annual central GOA TAC Rockfish secondary species Pacific cod ............................................................................ Sablefish .............................................................................. Shortraker rockfish ............................................................... Rougheye rockfish ............................................................... Thornyhead rockfish ............................................................ mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Halibut PSC Limits Section 679.21(d) establishes the annual halibut PSC limit apportionments to trawl and hook-andline gear, and authorizes the establishment of apportionments for pot gear. Amendment 95 to the FMP (79 FR 9625, February 20, 2014) implemented measures establishing GOA halibut PSC limits in Federal regulations and reducing the halibut PSC limits in the GOA trawl and hook-and-line groundfish fisheries. These reductions are incorporated into the final 2015 and 2016 halibut PSC limits. For most gear and operational types, the halibut PSC limit reductions are phased-in over 3 years, beginning in 2014 and ending in 2016. In December 2014, the Council incorporated these reductions into its recommended final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications. The Council recommended 2015 halibut PSC limits of 1,759 mt for trawl gear, 261 mt for hook-and-line gear, and 9 mt for the DSR fishery. The Council also recommended 2016 halibut PSC limits of 1,706 mt for the trawl sector, 256 mt for the hook-and-line sector, and 9 mt for the DSR fishery. The DSR fishery in the SEO District is defined at § 679.21(d)(2)(ii)(A). This fishery is apportioned 9 mt of the halibut PSC limit in recognition of its small-scale harvests of groundfish. NMFS estimates low halibut bycatch in the DSR fishery because 1) the duration of the DSR fisheries and the gear soak times are short, 2) the DSR fishery occurs in the winter when less overlap occurs in the distribution of DSR and Catcher/processor cooperatives Percentage of TAC Apportionment (mt) Percentage of TAC Apportionment (mt) 3.81 6.78 0.00 0.00 7.84 1,752 287 ........................ ........................ 69 0.00 3.51 40.00 58.87 26.50 ........................ 149 159 379 232 45,990 4,232 397 643 875 halibut, and 3) the directed commercial DSR fishery has a low DSR TAC. The FMP authorizes the Council to exempt specific gear from the halibut PSC limits. NMFS, after consultation with the Council, exempts pot gear, jig gear, and the sablefish IFQ hook-andline gear fishery categories from the non-trawl halibut PSC limit for 2015 and 2016. The Council recommended, and NMFS approves, these exemptions because 1) the pot gear fisheries have low annual halibut bycatch mortality; 2) IFQ program regulations prohibit discard of halibut if any halibut IFQ permit holder on board a catcher vessel holds unused halibut IFQ (§ 679.7(f)(11)); 3) sablefish IFQ fishermen typically hold halibut IFQ permits and are therefore required to retain the halibut they catch while fishing sablefish IFQ; and 4) NMFS estimates negligible halibut mortality for the jig gear fisheries. NMFS estimates that halibut mortality is negligible in the jig gear fisheries given the small amount of groundfish harvested by jig gear, the selective nature of jig gear, and the high survival rates of halibut caught and released with jig gear. The best available information on estimated halibut bycatch consists of data collected by fisheries observers during 2014. The calculated halibut bycatch mortality through December 20, 2014, is 1,394 mt for trawl gear and 199 mt for hook-and-line gear for a total halibut mortality of 1,593 mt. This halibut mortality was calculated using groundfish and halibut catch data from the NMFS Alaska Region’s catch accounting system. This accounting system contains historical and recent catch information compiled from each Alaska groundfish fishery. Section 679.21(d)(4)(i) and (ii) authorizes NMFS to seasonally apportion the halibut PSC limits after consultation with the Council. The FMP and regulations require the Council and NMFS to consider the following information in seasonally apportioning halibut PSC limits: 1) Seasonal distribution of halibut; 2) seasonal distribution of target groundfish species relative to halibut distribution; 3) expected halibut bycatch needs on a seasonal basis relative to changes in halibut biomass and expected catch of target groundfish species; 4) expected bycatch rates on a seasonal basis; 5) expected changes in directed groundfish fishing seasons; 6) expected actual start of fishing effort; and 7) economic effects of establishing seasonal halibut allocations on segments of the target groundfish industry. The Council considered information from the 2014 SAFE report, NMFS catch data, State of Alaska catch data, IPHC stock assessment and mortality data, and public testimony when apportioning the halibut PSC limits. NMFS concurs with the Council’s recommendations listed in Tables 14 and 15, which respectively shows the final 2015 and 2016 Pacific halibut PSC limits, allowances, and apportionments. Sections 679.21(d)(4)(iii) and (iv) specify that any underages or overages of a seasonal apportionment of a PSC limit will be deducted from or added to the next respective seasonal apportionment within the fishing year. TABLE 14—FINAL 2015 PACIFIC HALIBUT PSC LIMITS, ALLOWANCES, AND APPORTIONMENTS [Values are in metric tons] Hook-and-line gear 1 Trawl gear Other than DSR Season Percent Season January 20–April 1 ........... VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 27.5 Jkt 235001 DSR Amount 484 PO 00000 Percent January 1–June 10 ......... Frm 00015 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 86 Amount 225 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM Season January 1–December 31 25FER2 Amount 9 10264 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 14—FINAL 2015 PACIFIC HALIBUT PSC LIMITS, ALLOWANCES, AND APPORTIONMENTS—Continued [Values are in metric tons] Hook-and-line gear 1 Trawl gear Other than DSR Season Percent DSR Amount Season April 1–July 1 .................... July 1–September 1 ......... 20 30 352 528 September 1–October 1 ... October 1–December 31 .. 7.5 15 Total .......................... ................ Percent Amount Season Amount 2 12 5 31 .......................................... .......................................... ................ ................ 132 264 June 10–September 1 ..... September 1–December 31. .......................................... .......................................... ................ ................ ................ ................ .......................................... .......................................... ................ ................ 1,759 .......................................... ................ 261 .......................................... 9 1 The Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limit for hook-and-line gear is allocated to the demersal shelf rockfish (DSR) fishery and fisheries other than DSR. The hook-and-line sablefish fishery is exempt from halibut PSC limits, as are pot and jig gear for all groundfish fisheries. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. TABLE 15—FINAL 2016 PACIFIC HALIBUT PSC LIMITS, ALLOWANCES, AND APPORTIONMENTS [Values are in metric tons] Hook-and-line gear 1 Trawl gear Other than DSR Season Percent DSR Amount Season January 20–April 1 ........... April 1–July 1 .................... July 1–September 1 ......... 27.5 20 30 469 341 512 September 1–October 1 ... October 1–December 31 .. 7.5 15 Total .......................... ................ Percent Amount Season Amount 86 2 12 220 5 31 January 1–December 31 .......................................... .......................................... 9 ................ ................ 128 256 January 1–June 10 ......... June 10–September 1 ..... September 1–December 31. .......................................... .......................................... ................ ................ ................ ................ .......................................... .......................................... ................ ................ 1,706 .......................................... ................ 256 .......................................... 9 1 The Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limit for hook-and-line gear is allocated to the demersal shelf rockfish (DSR) fishery and fisheries other than DSR. The hook-and-line sablefish fishery is exempt from halibut PSC limits, as are pot and jig gear for all groundfish fisheries. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. Section 679.21(d)(3)(ii) authorizes further apportionment of the trawl halibut PSC limit to trawl fishery categories. The annual apportionments are based on each category’s proportional share of the anticipated halibut bycatch mortality during the fishing year and optimization of the total amount of groundfish harvest under the halibut PSC limit. The fishery categories for the trawl halibut PSC limits are 1) a deep-water species fishery, composed of sablefish, rockfish, deep-water flatfish, rex sole, and arrowtooth flounder; and 2) a shallowwater species fishery, composed of pollock, Pacific cod, shallow-water flatfish, flathead sole, Atka mackerel, skates, and ‘‘other species’’ (sculpins, sharks, squids, and octopuses) (§ 679.21(d)(3)(iii)). Tables 16 and 17 list, respectively, the final 2015 and 2016 apportionments of halibut PSC trawl limits between the trawl gear deep-water and the shallow-water species fishery categories. Table 28d to 50 CFR part 679 specifies the amount of the trawl halibut PSC limit that is assigned to the CV and C/ P sectors that are participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program. This includes 117 mt of halibut PSC limit to the CV sector and 74 mt of halibut PSC limit to the C/P sector. These amounts are allocated from the trawl deep-water species fishery’s halibut PSC third seasonal apportionment. Section 679.21(d)(4)(iii)(B) limits the amount of the halibut PSC limit allocated to Rockfish Program participants that could be reapportioned to the general GOA trawl fisheries to no more than 55 percent of the unused annual halibut PSC apportioned to Rockfish Program participants. The remainder of the unused Rockfish Program halibut PSC limit is unavailable for use by vessels directed fishing with trawl gear for the remainder of the fishing year. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 TABLE 16—FINAL 2015 APPORTIONMENT OF PACIFIC HALIBUT PSC TRAWL LIMITS BETWEEN THE TRAWL GEAR DEEPWATER SPECIES FISHERY AND THE SHALLOW-WATER SPECIES FISHERY CATEGORIES [Values are in metric tons] Season Shallow-water January 20–April 1 ..................................................................................... April 1–July 1 ............................................................................................. July 1–September 1 ................................................................................... September 1–October 1 ............................................................................ Subtotal January 20–October 1 ................................................................. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4701 396 88 176 132 792 Sfmt 4700 Deep-water 1 88 ..................................................... 264 ................................................... 352 ................................................... Any remainder ................................. 704 ................................................... E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 Total 484 352 528 132 1,496 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 10265 TABLE 16—FINAL 2015 APPORTIONMENT OF PACIFIC HALIBUT PSC TRAWL LIMITS BETWEEN THE TRAWL GEAR DEEPWATER SPECIES FISHERY AND THE SHALLOW-WATER SPECIES FISHERY CATEGORIES—Continued [Values are in metric tons] Season Shallow-water Deep-water 1 October 1–December 31 2 ......................................................................... ........................ .......................................................... 264 Total .................................................................................................... ........................ .......................................................... 1,760 Total 1 Vessels participating in cooperatives in the Central GOA Rockfish Program will receive 191 mt of the third season (July 1 through September 1) deep-water species fishery halibut PSC apportionment. 2 There is no apportionment between trawl shallow-water and deep-water species fishery categories during the fifth season (October 1 through December 31). TABLE 17—FINAL 2016 APPORTIONMENT OF PACIFIC HALIBUT PSC TRAWL LIMITS BETWEEN THE TRAWL GEAR DEEPWATER SPECIES FISHERY AND THE SHALLOW-WATER SPECIES FISHERY CATEGORIES [Values are in metric tons] Season Shallow-water Deep-water 1 January 20–April 1 ..................................................................................... April 1–July 1 ............................................................................................. July 1–September 1 ................................................................................... September 1–October 1 ............................................................................ Subtotal January 20–October 1 ................................................................. October 1–December 31 2 ......................................................................... 384 85 171 128 768 ........................ 85 ..................................................... 256 ................................................... 341 ................................................... Any remainder ................................. 682 ................................................... .......................................................... 469 341 512 128 1,450 256 Total .................................................................................................... ........................ .......................................................... 1,706 Total 1 Vessels participating in cooperatives in the Central GOA Rockfish Program will receive 191 mt of the third season (July 1 through September 1) deep-water species fishery halibut PSC apportionment. 2 There is no apportionment between trawl shallow-water and deep-water species fishery categories during the fifth season (October 1 through December 31). mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Section 679.21(d)(2)(B) requires that the ‘‘other hook-and-line fishery’’ halibut PSC limit apportionment to vessels using hook-and-line gear must be apportioned between CVs and C/Ps in accordance with § 679.21(d)(2)(iii) in conjunction with these harvest specifications. A comprehensive description and example of the calculations necessary to apportion the ‘‘other hook-and-line fishery’’ halibut PSC limit between the hook-and-line CV and C/P sectors were included in the proposed rule to implement Amendment 83 (76 FR 44700, July 26, 2011) and are not repeated here. For 2015, NMFS apportions halibut PSC limits of 145 mt and 116 mt to the hook-and-line CV and hook-and-line C/ P sectors, respectively. For 2016, NMFS apportions halibut PSC limits of 140 mt and 116 mt to the hook-and-line CV and hook-and-line C/P sectors, respectively. Tables 18 and 19 list, respectively, the final 2015 and 2016 apportionments of halibut PSC limits between the hookand-line CV and hook-and-line C/P sectors. Pursuant to § 679.21(d)(2)(iii), the hook-and-line halibut PSC limit is apportioned between the CV and C/P sectors in proportion to the total Western and Central GOA Pacific cod allocations, which vary annually based on the proportion of the Pacific cod biomass. Pacific cod is apportioned among these two management areas based on the percentage of overall biomass per area, as calculated in the 2014 Pacific cod stock assessment. Updated information in the final 2014 SAFE report describes this distributional change, which is based on allocating ABC among regulatory areas on the basis of the three most recent stock surveys. The distribution of the total GOA Pacific cod ABC has changed to 36 percent Western GOA, 61 percent Central GOA, and 3 percent Eastern GOA. Therefore, the calculations made in accordance with § 679.21(d)(2)(iii) incorporate the most recent change in GOA Pacific cod distribution with respect to establishing the annual halibut PSC limits for the CV and C/P hook-and-line sectors. The annual halibut PSC limits are divided into three seasonal apportionments, using seasonal percentages of 86 percent, 2 percent, and 12 percent. No later than November 1 of each year, NMFS will calculate the projected unused amount of halibut PSC limit by either of the hook-and-line sectors for the remainder of the year. The projected unused amount of halibut PSC limit is made available to the other hook-andline sector for the remainder of that fishing year if NMFS determines that an additional amount of halibut PSC is necessary for that sector to continue its directed fishing operations (§ 679.21(d)(2)(iii)(C)). TABLE 18—FINAL 2015 APPORTIONMENTS OF THE ‘‘OTHER HOOK-AND-LINE FISHERIES’’ ANNUAL HALIBUT PSC ALLOWANCE BETWEEN THE HOOK-AND-LINE GEAR CATCHER VESSEL AND CATCHER/PROCESSOR SECTORS [Values are in metric tons] ‘‘Other than DSR’’ allowance Hook-and-line sector Sector annual amount Season 261 .................. Catcher Vessel ................................. .......................................................... 145 ........................ January 1–June 10 .......................... June 10–September 1 ..................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM Seasonal percentage 25FER2 86 2 Sector seasonal amount 125 3 10266 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 18—FINAL 2015 APPORTIONMENTS OF THE ‘‘OTHER HOOK-AND-LINE FISHERIES’’ ANNUAL HALIBUT PSC ALLOWANCE BETWEEN THE HOOK-AND-LINE GEAR CATCHER VESSEL AND CATCHER/PROCESSOR SECTORS—Continued [Values are in metric tons] ‘‘Other than DSR’’ allowance Hook-and-line sector Sector annual amount Season Seasonal percentage .......................................................... Catcher/Processor ........................... .......................................................... .......................................................... ........................ 116 ........................ ........................ September 1–December 31 ............. January 1–June 10 .......................... June 10–September 1 ..................... September 1–December 31 ............. Sector seasonal amount 12 86 2 12 17 100 2 14 TABLE 19—FINAL 2016 APPORTIONMENTS OF THE ‘‘OTHER HOOK-AND-LINE FISHERIES’’ ANNUAL HALIBUT PSC ALLOWANCE BETWEEN THE HOOK-AND-LINE GEAR CATCHER VESSEL AND CATCHER/PROCESSOR SECTORS [Values are in metric tons] ‘‘Other than DSR’’ allowance Hook-and-line sector 256 .................. Sector annual amount Season Catcher Vessel ................................. .......................................................... .......................................................... Catcher/Processor ........................... .......................................................... .......................................................... 140 ........................ ........................ 116 ........................ ........................ January 1–June 10 .......................... June 10–September 1 ..................... September 1–December 31 ............. January 1–June 10 .......................... June 10–September 1 ..................... September 1–December 31 ............. Estimates of Halibut Biomass and Stock Condition The IPHC annually assesses the abundance and potential yield of the Pacific halibut using all available data from the commercial and sport fisheries, other removals, and scientific surveys. Additional information on the Pacific halibut stock assessment may be found in the IPHC’s 2014 Pacific halibut stock assessment (December 2014), available on the IPHC Web site at www.iphc.int. The IPHC considered the 2014 Pacific halibut stock assessment at its January 2015 annual meeting when it set the 2015 commercial halibut fishery catch limits. Halibut Discard Mortality Rates To monitor halibut bycatch mortality allowances and apportionments, the Regional Administrator uses observed halibut incidental catch rates, discard mortality 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 is implementing the Council’s recommendation that the halibut DMRs developed and recommended by the IPHC for the 2013 through 2015 GOA groundfish fisheries be used for monitoring the final 2015 and 2016 halibut bycatch mortality allowances (see Tables 14 through 19). The IPHC developed the DMRs for the 2013 through 2015 GOA groundfish fisheries using the 10-year mean DMRs for those Seasonal percentage 86 2 12 86 2 12 Sector seasonal amount 120 3 17 100 2 14 fisheries. Long-term average DMRs were not available for some fisheries, so rates from the most recent years were used. For the skate, sculpin, shark, squid, and octopus target fisheries, where not enough halibut mortality data are available, the mortality rate of halibut caught in the Pacific cod fishery for that gear type was recommended as a default rate. The IPHC will analyze observer data annually and recommend changes to the DMRs when a fishery DMR shows large variation from the mean. A discussion of the DMRs and how the IPHC establishes them is available from the Council (see ADDRESSES). Table 20 lists the final 2015 and 2016 DMRs. These DMRs are unchanged from the proposed 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications (79 FR 72593, December 8, 2014). TABLE 20—FINAL 2015 AND 2016 HALIBUT DISCARD MORTALITY RATES FOR VESSELS FISHING IN THE GULF OF ALASKA [Values are percent of halibut assumed to be dead] Mortality rate (%) Target fishery Hook-and-line .............................................................................. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Gear Other fisheries 1 ......................................................................... Skates ........................................................................................ Pacific cod .................................................................................. Rockfish ..................................................................................... Arrowtooth flounder .................................................................... Deep-water flatfish ..................................................................... Flathead sole ............................................................................. Non-pelagic pollock .................................................................... Other fisheries 1 ......................................................................... Pacific cod .................................................................................. Pelagic pollock ........................................................................... Rex sole ..................................................................................... Rockfish ..................................................................................... Trawl ........................................................................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 11 11 11 9 73 43 65 60 62 62 71 69 66 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 10267 TABLE 20—FINAL 2015 AND 2016 HALIBUT DISCARD MORTALITY RATES FOR VESSELS FISHING IN THE GULF OF ALASKA—Continued [Values are percent of halibut assumed to be dead] Mortality rate (%) Gear Target fishery Pot ............................................................................................... Sablefish .................................................................................... Shallow-water flatfish ................................................................. Other fisheries 1 ......................................................................... Pacific cod .................................................................................. 1 Other 71 67 17 17 fisheries includes all gear types for skates, sculpins, sharks, squids, octopuses, and hook-and-line sablefish. Chinook Salmon Prohibited Species Catch Limits In 2012, NMFS issued a final rule to implement Amendment 93 to the GOA FMP (77 FR 42629, July 20, 2012). Amendment 93 established separate Chinook salmon PSC limits in the Western and Central GOA in the directed pollock fishery. These limits require NMFS to close the pollock directed fishery in the Western and Central regulatory areas of the GOA if the applicable limit is reached (§ 679.21(h)(6)). The annual Chinook salmon PSC limits in the pollock directed fishery of 6,684 salmon in the Western GOA and 18,316 salmon in the Central GOA are set in regulation at § 679.21(h)(2)(i) and (ii). In addition, all salmon (regardless of species) taken in the pollock directed fisheries in the Western and Central GOA must be retained until an observer at the processing facility that takes delivery of the catch is provided an opportunity to count the number of salmon and to collect any scientific data or biological samples from the salmon (§ 679.21(h)(4)). As described earlier in this preamble, NMFS issued a final rule to implement Amendment 97 to the FMP (79 FR 71350, December 2, 2014). That action established an initial annual PSC limit of 7,500 Chinook salmon for the nonpollock groundfish fisheries. This limit is apportioned among three sectors: 3,600 Chinook salmon to trawl catcher/ processors, 1,200 Chinook salmon to trawl catcher vessels participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program, and 2,700 Chinook salmon to trawl catcher vessels not participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program that are fishing for groundfish species other than pollock (§ 679.21(i)(3)). NMFS will monitor the Chinook salmon PSC in the non-pollock GOA groundfish fisheries and close an applicable sector if it reaches its Chinook salmon PSC limit. The Chinook salmon PSC limit for two sectors, trawl catcher/processors and trawl catcher vessels not participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program, may be increased in subsequent years based on the performance of these two sectors and their ability to minimize their use of their respective Chinook salmon PSC limits. If either or both of these two sectors limits its use of Chinook salmon PSC to a certain threshold amount in 2015, that sector will receive an incremental increase to its 2016 Chinook salmon PSC limit (§ 679.21(i)(3)). American Fisheries Act (AFA) C/P and CV Groundfish Harvest and PSC Limits Section 679.64 establishes groundfish harvesting and processing sideboard limitations on AFA C/Ps and CVs in the GOA. These sideboard limits are necessary to protect the interests of fishermen and processors who do not directly benefit from the AFA from those fishermen and processors who receive exclusive harvesting and processing privileges under the AFA. Section 679.7(k)(1)(ii) prohibits listed AFA C/Ps from harvesting any species of groundfish in the GOA. Additionally, § 679.7(k)(1)(iv) prohibits listed AFA C/ Ps from processing any pollock harvested in a directed pollock fishery in the GOA and any groundfish harvested in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA. AFA CVs that are less than 125 ft (38.1 meters) length overall, have annual landings of pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands less than 5,100 mt, and have made at least 40 groundfish landings from 1995 through 1997 are exempt from GOA sideboard limits under § 679.64(b)(2)(ii). Sideboard limits for non-exempt AFA CVs in the GOA are based on their traditional harvest levels of TAC in groundfish fisheries covered by the FMP. Section 679.64(b)(3)(iii) establishes the groundfish sideboard limitations in the GOA based on the retained catch of non-exempt AFA CVs of each sideboard species from 1995 through 1997 divided by the TAC for that species over the same period. Tables 21 and 22 list the final 2015 and 2016 groundfish sideboard limits for non-exempt AFA CVs. NMFS will deduct all targeted or incidental catch of sideboard species made by non-exempt AFA CVs from the sideboard limits listed in Tables 21 and 22. TABLE 21—FINAL 2015 GOA NON-EXEMPT AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL (CV) GROUNDFISH HARVEST SIDEBOARD LIMITS mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Species Pollock ................................... Apportionments by season/ gear A Season, January 20– March 10. B Season, March 10–May 31 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00019 Area/component Shumagin (610) .................... Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... Shumagin (610) .................... Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 Ratio of 1995– 1997 non-exempt AFA CV catch to 1995– 1997 TAC 0.6047 0.1167 0.2028 0.6047 0.1167 0.2028 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 Final 2015 TACs 3,632 30,503 11,316 3,632 37,820 4,000 Final 2015 non-exempt AFA CV sideboard limit 2,196 3,560 2,295 2,196 4,414 811 10268 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 21—FINAL 2015 GOA NON-EXEMPT AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL (CV) GROUNDFISH HARVEST SIDEBOARD LIMITS—Continued [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Area/component C Season, August 25–October 1. Species Apportionments by season/ gear Shumagin (610) .................... Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... Shumagin (610) .................... Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... WYK (640) ............................ SEO (650) ............................. W ........................................... C ........................................... W ........................................... C ........................................... E inshore ............................... E offshore ............................. W ........................................... C ........................................... E ............................................ W ........................................... C ........................................... E ............................................ W ........................................... C ........................................... E ............................................ W ........................................... C ........................................... E ............................................ W ........................................... C ........................................... E ............................................ W ........................................... C ........................................... E ............................................ W ........................................... C ........................................... E ............................................ W ........................................... C ........................................... W ........................................... C ........................................... E ............................................ W ........................................... C ........................................... E ............................................ W ........................................... C ........................................... E ............................................ SEO ...................................... W ........................................... C ........................................... E ............................................ W ........................................... C ........................................... E ............................................ Gulfwide ................................ W ........................................... C ........................................... E ............................................ W ........................................... C ........................................... E ............................................ Gulfwide ................................ Gulfwide ................................ Gulfwide ................................ Gulfwide ................................ D Season, October 1–November 1. Annual ................................... A Season, 1 January 1–June 10. B Season, 2 September 1– December 31. Annual ................................... Sablefish ............................... Annual, trawl gear ................. Flatfish, Shallow-water .......... Annual ................................... Flatfish, deep-water .............. Annual ................................... Rex sole ................................ Annual ................................... Arrowtooth flounder ............... Annual ................................... Flathead sole ........................ Annual ................................... Pacific ocean perch .............. Annual ................................... Northern rockfish ................... Annual ................................... Shortraker rockfish ................ Annual ................................... Dusky rockfish ....................... Annual ................................... Rougheye rockfish ................ Annual ................................... Demersal shelf rockfish ........ Thornyhead rockfish ............. Annual ................................... Annual ................................... Other rockfish ........................ mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Pacific cod ............................. Annual ................................... Atka mackerel ....................... Big skates ............................. Annual ................................... Annual ................................... Longnose skates ................... Annual ................................... Other skates .......................... Sculpins ................................. Sharks ................................... Squids ................................... Annual Annual Annual Annual VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 ................................... ................................... ................................... ................................... Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 Ratio of 1995– 1997 non-exempt AFA CV catch to 1995– 1997 TAC 0.6047 0.1167 0.2028 0.6047 0.1167 0.2028 0.3495 0.3495 0.1331 0.0692 0.1331 0.0692 0.0079 0.0078 0.0000 0.0642 0.0433 0.0156 0.0587 0.0126 0.0000 0.0647 0.0128 0.0007 0.0384 0.0029 0.0021 0.0280 0.0002 0.0036 0.0213 0.0009 0.0023 0.0748 0.0466 0.0003 0.0277 0.0000 0.0218 0.0110 0.0001 0.0000 0.0067 0.0000 0.0237 0.0124 0.0020 0.0280 0.0280 0.0280 0.0034 0.1699 0.0000 0.0309 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 Final 2015 TACs 12,185 14,628 18,639 12,185 14,628 18,639 4,719 12,625 16,255 27,594 10,837 18,396 1,909 212 295 932 220 13,250 19,297 2,834 301 3,689 9,344 1,258 5,816 2,076 14,500 75,000 13,800 8,650 15,400 3,706 2,302 15,873 2,837 1,226 3,772 92 397 834 296 3,336 1,477 115 632 375 225 235 875 731 ........................ 1,031 780 2,000 731 1,257 1,267 152 2,090 976 2,235 5,569 5,989 1,148 Final 2015 non-exempt AFA CV sideboard limit 7,368 1,707 3,780 7,368 1,707 3,780 1,649 4,412 2,164 1,910 1,442 1,273 15 2 ........................ 60 10 207 1,133 36 ........................ 239 120 1 223 6 30 2,100 3 31 328 3 5 1,187 132 ........................ 104 ........................ 9 9 ........................ ........................ 10 ........................ 15 5 ........................ 7 25 20 . 175 62 5 8 8 1 13 6 14 35 38 7 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 10269 TABLE 21—FINAL 2015 GOA NON-EXEMPT AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL (CV) GROUNDFISH HARVEST SIDEBOARD LIMITS—Continued [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Species Apportionments by season/ gear Area/component Octopuses ............................. Annual ................................... Gulfwide ................................ 1 The 2 The Ratio of 1995– 1997 non-exempt AFA CV catch to 1995– 1997 TAC 0.0063 Final 2015 TACs Final 2015 non-exempt AFA CV sideboard limit 1,507 9 Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20. Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1. TABLE 22—FINAL 2016 GOA NON-EXEMPT AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL (CV) GROUNDFISH HARVEST SIDEBOARD LIMITS [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Ratio of 1995– 1997 non-exempt AFA CV catch to 1995– 1997 TAC Final 2016 TACs Final 2016 non-exempt AFA CV sideboard limit Species Apportionments by season/gear Area/component Pollock ................................ A Season, January 20–March 10 Shumagin (610) ................. Chirikof (620) ..................... Kodiak (630) ...................... Shumagin (610) ................. Chirikof (620) ..................... Kodiak (630) ...................... Shumagin (610) ................. Chirikof (620) ..................... Kodiak (630) ...................... Shumagin (610) ................. 0.6047 0.1167 0.2028 0.6047 0.1167 0.2028 0.6047 0.1167 0.2028 0.6047 4,760 39,992 14,839 4,760 49,586 5,245 15,975 19,179 24,437 15,975 2,879 4,667 3,009 2,879 5,787 1,064 9,660 2,238 4,956 9,660 Chirikof (620) ..................... Kodiak (630) ...................... WYK (640) ......................... SEO (650) .......................... W ........................................ C ........................................ W ........................................ 0.1167 0.2028 0.3495 0.3495 0.1331 0.0692 0.1331 19,179 24,437 6,187 12,625 16,255 27,594 10,837 2,238 4,956 2,162 4,412 2,164 1,910 1,442 C ........................................ E inshore ............................ E offshore .......................... W ........................................ C ........................................ E ......................................... W ........................................ C ........................................ E ......................................... W ........................................ C ........................................ E ......................................... W ........................................ C ........................................ E ......................................... W ........................................ C ........................................ E ......................................... W ........................................ C ........................................ E ......................................... W ........................................ C ........................................ E ......................................... W ........................................ C ........................................ W ........................................ C ........................................ E ......................................... W ........................................ C ........................................ E ......................................... 0.0692 0.0079 0.0078 0.0000 0.0642 0.0433 0.0156 0.0587 0.0126 0.0000 0.0647 0.0128 0.0007 0.0384 0.0029 0.0021 0.0280 0.0002 0.0036 0.0213 0.0009 0.0023 0.0748 0.0466 0.0003 0.0277 0.0000 0.0218 0.0110 0.0001 0.0000 0.0067 18,396 1,909 212 268 846 199 13,250 17,114 2,513 299 3,645 9,233 1,234 5,707 2,038 14,500 75,000 13,800 8,650 15,400 3,709 2,358 16,184 2,894 1,158 3,563 92 397 834 273 3,077 1,361 1,273 15 2 ........................ 54 9 207 1,005 32 ........................ 236 118 1 219 6 30 2,100 3 31 328 3 5 1,211 135 ........................ 99 ........................ 9 9 ........................ ........................ 9 B Season, March 10–May 31 ..... C Season, August 25–October 1 D Season, October 1–November 1. Annual Pacific cod .......................... A Season 1, January 1–June 10 B Season 2, September 1–December 31. Annual ......................................... Annual, trawl gear ....................... Flatfish, Shallow-water ....... Annual ......................................... Flatfish, deep-water ........... Annual ......................................... Rex sole ............................. Annual ......................................... Arrowtooth flounder ............ Annual ......................................... Flathead sole ..................... mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Sablefish ............................ Annual ......................................... Pacific ocean perch ........... Annual ......................................... Northern rockfish ................ Annual ......................................... Shortraker rockfish ............. Annual ......................................... Dusky rockfish .................... Annual ......................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 10270 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 22—FINAL 2016 GOA NON-EXEMPT AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL (CV) GROUNDFISH HARVEST SIDEBOARD LIMITS—Continued [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Ratio of 1995– 1997 non-exempt AFA CV catch to 1995– 1997 TAC Species Apportionments by season/gear Area/component Rougheye rockfish ............. Annual ......................................... Demersal shelf rockfish ..... Thornyhead rockfish .......... Annual ......................................... Annual ......................................... Other rockfish ..................... Annual ......................................... Atka mackerel .................... Big skates .......................... Annual ......................................... Annual ......................................... Longnose skates ................ Annual ......................................... Other skates ....................... Sculpins .............................. Sharks ................................ Squids ................................ Octopuses .......................... Annual Annual Annual Annual Annual W ........................................ C ........................................ E ......................................... SEO ................................... W ........................................ C ........................................ E ......................................... W ........................................ C ........................................ E ......................................... Gulfwide ............................. W ........................................ C ........................................ E ......................................... W ........................................ C ........................................ E ......................................... Gulfwide ............................. Gulfwide ............................. Gulfwide ............................. Gulfwide ............................. Gulfwide ............................. 1 The 2 The ......................................... ......................................... ......................................... ......................................... ......................................... 0.0000 0.0237 0.0124 0.0020 0.0280 0.0280 0.0280 0.0034 0.1699 0.0000 0.0309 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 0.0063 Final 2016 TACs Final 2016 non-exempt AFA CV sideboard limit 117 643 382 225 235 875 731 ........................ 1,031 780 2,000 731 1,257 1,267 152 2,090 976 2,235 5,569 5,989 1,148 1,507 ........................ 15 5 ........................ 7 25 20 ........................ 175 62 5 8 8 1 13 6 14 35 38 7 9 Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20. Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1. Non-Exempt AFA Catcher Vessel Halibut PSC Limits The halibut PSC sideboard limits for non-exempt AFA CVs in the GOA are based on the aggregate retained groundfish catch by non-exempt AFA CVs in each PSC target category from 1995 through 1997 divided by the retained catch of all vessels in that fishery from 1995 through 1997 (§ 679.64(b)(4)). Tables 23 and 24 list the final 2015 and 2016 non-exempt AFA CV halibut PSC limits for vessels using trawl gear in the GOA, respectively. The 2015 and 2016 seasonal apportionments of trawl halibut PSC limits between the deep-water and shallow-water species fisheries categories proportionately incorporate reductions made to the annual trawl halibut PSC limits and associated seasonal apportionments (see Tables 14 and 15). TABLE 23—FINAL 2015 NON-EXEMPT AFA CV HALIBUT PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH (PSC) LIMITS FOR VESSELS USING TRAWL GEAR IN THE GOA [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton] Ratio of 1995–1997 non-exempt AFA CV retained catch to total retained catch 2015 PSC limit 2015 non-exempt AFA CV PSC limit .................................. .................................. .................................. .................................. .................................. .................................. .................................. .................................. .................................. 396 88 88 264 176 352 132 0 264 135 6 30 18 60 25 45 0 54 ............................................. 1,760 373 Season dates Target fishery 1 ............................ January 20–April 1 ............. 2 ............................ April 1–July 1 ..................... 3 ............................ July 1–September 1 ........... 4 ............................ September 1–October 1 ..... 5 ............................ mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Season October 1–December 31 .... shallow-water ..................... deep-water ......................... shallow-water ..................... deep-water ......................... shallow-water ..................... deep-water ......................... shallow-water ..................... deep-water ......................... all targets ............................ 0.340 0.070 0.340 0.070 0.340 0.070 0.340 0.070 0.205 Total ............... ............................................. ............................................. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 10271 TABLE 24—FINAL 2016 NON-EXEMPT AFA CV HALIBUT PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH (PSC) LIMITS FOR VESSELS USING TRAWL GEAR IN THE GOA [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton] Ratio of 1995–1997 nonexempt AFA CV retained catch to total retained catch Season dates Target fishery 1 ....................................... January 20–April 1 ......... 2 ....................................... April 1–July 1 .................. 3 ....................................... July 1–September 1 ....... 4 ....................................... September 1–October 1 5 ....................................... October 1–December 31 shallow-water .................. deep-water ...................... shallow-water .................. deep-water ...................... shallow-water .................. deep-water ...................... shallow-water .................. deep-water ...................... all targets ........................ 0.340 0.070 0.340 0.070 0.340 0.070 0.340 0.070 0.205 ............................... ............................... ............................... ............................... ............................... ............................... ............................... ............................... ............................... 384 85 85 256 171 341 128 0 256 131 6 29 18 58 24 44 0 52 ......................................... ......................................... ......................................... 1,706 361 Total .......................... Non-AFA Crab Vessel Groundfish Harvest Limitations Section 680.22 establishes groundfish catch limits for vessels with a history of participation in the Bering Sea snow crab fishery to prevent these vessels from using the increased flexibility provided by the Crab Rationalization Program to expand their level of participation in the GOA groundfish fisheries. Sideboard limits restrict these vessels’ catch to their collective historical landings in each GOA groundfish fishery (except the fixed-gear sablefish fishery). Sideboard limits also apply to catch made using an LLP license derived from the history of a restricted vessel, even if that LLP license is used on another vessel. The basis for these sideboard limits is described in detail in the final rules implementing the major provisions of Amendments 18 and 19 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/ Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (70 FR 10174, March 2, 2005), Amendment 34 to the Fishery 2016 PSC limit 2016 non-exempt AFA CV PSC limit Season Management Plan for Bering Sea/ Aleutian Island King and Tanner Crabs (76 FR 35772, June 20, 2011), and Amendment 83 to the GOA FMP (76 FR 74670, December 1, 2011). Tables 25 and 26 list the final 2015 and 2016 groundfish sideboard limitations for non-AFA crab vessels. All targeted or incidental catch of sideboard species made by non-AFA crab vessels or associated LLP licenses will be deducted from these sideboard limits. TABLE 25—FINAL 2015 GOA NON-AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CRAB VESSEL GROUNDFISH HARVEST SIDEBOARD LIMITS [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Species Pollock ................................... Season/gear Area/component/gear Ratio of 1996– 2000 non-AFA crab vessel catch to 1996– 2000 total harvest Final 2015 TACs Final 2015 non-AFA crab vessel sideboard limit A Season, January 20– March 10. Shumagin (610) .................... 0.0098 3,632 36 B Season, March 10–May 31 Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... Shumagin (610) .................... Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... Shumagin (610) .................... 0.0031 0.0002 0.0098 0.0031 0.0002 0.0098 30,503 11,316 3,632 37,820 4,000 12,185 95 2 36 117 1 119 Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... Shumagin (610) .................... 0.0031 0.0002 0.0098 14,628 18,639 12,185 45 4 119 Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... WYK (640) ............................ SEO (650) ............................. W Jig ..................................... 0.0031 0.0002 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 14,628 18,639 4,719 12,625 16,255 45 4 ........................ ........................ ........................ W Hook-and-line CV ............. W Hook-and-line C/P ............ W Pot CV .............................. W Pot C/P ............................. W Trawl CV .......................... C Jig ..................................... C Hook-and-line CV ............. C Hook-and-line C/P ............ 0.0004 0.0018 0.0997 0.0078 0.0007 0.0000 0.0001 0.0012 16,255 16,255 16,255 16,255 16,255 27,594 27,594 27,594 7 29 1,621 127 11 ........................ 3 33 C Season, August 25–October 1. D Season, October 1–November 1. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Annual ................................... Pacific cod ............................. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 A Season 1, January 1–June 10. Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 10272 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 25—FINAL 2015 GOA NON-AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CRAB VESSEL GROUNDFISH HARVEST SIDEBOARD LIMITS— Continued [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Species Season/gear Area/component/gear B Season 2 ............................ Jig Gear: June 10–December 31. All other gears: ..................... September 1–December 31 Annual ................................... Annual, trawl gear ................ Flatfish, shallow-water ........... Annual ................................... Flatfish, deep-water ............... Annual ................................... Rex sole ................................ Annual ................................... Arrowtooth flounder ............... Annual ................................... Flathead sole ......................... Annual ................................... Pacific ocean perch ............... Annual ................................... Northern rockfish ................... Annual ................................... Shortraker rockfish ................ Annual ................................... Dusky rockfish ....................... Annual ................................... Rougheye rockfish ................. Annual ................................... Demersal shelf rockfish ......... Thornyhead rockfish .............. Annual ................................... Annual ................................... Other rockfish ........................ mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Sablefish ................................ Annual ................................... Atka mackerel ........................ Big skate ................................ Annual ................................... Annual ................................... Longnose skate ..................... Annual ................................... Other skates .......................... Annual ................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00024 Ratio of 1996– 2000 non-AFA crab vessel catch to 1996– 2000 total harvest Final 2015 TACs Final 2015 non-AFA crab vessel sideboard limit C Pot CV .............................. C Pot C/P ............................. C Trawl CV ........................... W Jig ..................................... W Hook-and-line CV ............. 0.0474 0.0136 0.0012 0.0000 0.0004 27,594 27,594 27,594 10,837 10,837 1,308 375 33 ........................ 4 W Hook-and-line C/P ............ W Pot CV .............................. W Pot C/P ............................. W Trawl CV .......................... C Jig ..................................... C Hook-and-line CV ............. C Hook-and-line C/P ............ C Pot CV .............................. C Pot C/P ............................. C Trawl CV ........................... E inshore .............................. E offshore ............................. W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... SEO ...................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... Gulfwide ................................ W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... Gulfwide ................................ 0.0001 0.0997 0.0078 0.0007 0.0000 0.0001 0.0012 0.0474 0.0136 0.0012 0.0110 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0059 0.0001 0.0000 0.0035 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0004 0.0001 0.0000 0.0002 0.0004 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0005 0.0000 0.0013 0.0012 0.0009 0.0017 0.0000 0.0000 0.0067 0.0047 0.0008 0.0000 0.0047 0.0066 0.0045 0.0035 0.0033 0.0000 0.0000 0.0392 0.0159 0.0000 0.0392 0.0159 0.0000 0.0176 10,837 10,837 10,837 10,837 18,396 18,396 18,396 18,396 18,396 18,396 1,909 212 295 932 220 13,250 19,297 2,834 301 3,689 9,344 1,258 5,816 2,076 14,500 75,000 13,800 8,650 15,400 3,706 2,302 15,873 2,837 1,226 3,772 92 397 834 296 3,336 1,477 115 632 375 225 235 875 731 ........................ 1,031 780 2,000 731 1,257 1,267 152 2,090 976 2,235 20 1,080 85 8 ........................ 2 22 872 250 22 21 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 78 2 ........................ 1 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 6 8 ........................ 2 6 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 1 ........................ 0 0 1 1 ........................ ........................ 1 3 0 ........................ 1 6 3 ........................ 3 ........................ ........................ 29 20 ........................ 6 33 ........................ 39 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 10273 TABLE 25—FINAL 2015 GOA NON-AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CRAB VESSEL GROUNDFISH HARVEST SIDEBOARD LIMITS— Continued [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Species Sculpins ................................. Sharks ................................... Squids .................................... Octopuses ............................. 1 The 2 The Season/gear Annual Annual Annual Annual Area/component/gear ................................... ................................... ................................... ................................... Gulfwide Gulfwide Gulfwide Gulfwide ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ Ratio of 1996– 2000 non-AFA crab vessel catch to 1996– 2000 total harvest 0.0176 0.0176 0.0176 0.0176 Final 2015 TACs 5,569 5,989 1,148 1,507 Final 2015 non-AFA crab vessel sideboard limit 98 105 20 27 Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20. Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1. TABLE 26—FINAL 2016 GOA NON-AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CRAB VESSEL GROUNDFISH HARVEST SIDEBOARD LIMITS [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Species Pollock ................................... Season/gear Area/component/gear Ratio of 1996– 2000 non-AFA crab vessel catch to 1996– 2000 total harvest Final 2016 TACs Final 2016 non-AFA crab vessel sideboard limit A Season, January 20– March 10. Shumagin (610) .................... 0.0098 4,760 47 B Season, March 10–May 31 Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... Shumagin (610) .................... Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... Shumagin (610) .................... 0.0031 0.0002 0.0098 0.0031 0.0002 0.0098 39,992 14,839 4,760 49,586 5,245 15,975 124 3 47 154 1 157 Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... Shumagin (610) .................... 0.0031 0.0002 0.0098 19,179 24,437 15,975 59 5 157 Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... WYK (640) ............................ SEO (650) ............................. W Jig ..................................... 0.0031 0.0002 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 19,179 24,437 6,187 12,625 16,255 59 5 ........................ ........................ ........................ W Hook-and-line CV ............. W Hook-and-line C/P ............ W Pot CV .............................. W Pot C/P ............................. W Trawl CV .......................... C Jig ..................................... C Hook-and-line CV ............. C Hook-and-line C/P ............ C Pot CV .............................. C Pot C/P ............................. C Trawl CV ........................... W Jig ..................................... W Hook-and-line CV ............. 0.0004 0.0018 0.0997 0.0078 0.0007 0.0000 0.0001 0.0012 0.0474 0.0136 0.0012 0.0000 0.0004 16,255 16,255 16,255 16,255 16,255 27,594 27,594 27,594 27,594 27,594 27,594 10,837 10,837 7 29 1,621 127 11 ........................ 3 33 1,308 375 33 ........................ 4 W Hook-and-line C/P ............ W Pot CV .............................. 0.0018 0.0997 10,837 10,837 20 1,080 W Pot C/P ............................. W Trawl CV .......................... C Jig ..................................... C Hook-and-line CV ............. C Hook-and-line C/P ............ C Pot CV .............................. C Pot C/P ............................. C Trawl CV ........................... E inshore .............................. E offshore ............................. W .......................................... 0.0078 0.0007 0.0000 0.0001 0.0012 0.0474 0.0136 0.0012 0.0110 0.0000 0.0000 10,837 10,837 18,396 18,396 18,396 18,396 18,396 18,396 1,909 212 268 85 8 ........................ 2 22 872 250 22 21 ........................ ........................ C Season, August 25–October 1. D Season, October 1–November 1. Annual ................................... Pacific cod ............................. A Season 1, January 1–June 10. B Season 2 ............................ Jig Gear: June 10–December 31. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 All other gears: September 1–December 31. Annual ................................... Sablefish ................................ VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Annual, trawl gear ................ Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 10274 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 26—FINAL 2016 GOA NON-AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CRAB VESSEL GROUNDFISH HARVEST SIDEBOARD LIMITS— Continued [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Species Season/gear Area/component/gear Flatfish, shallow-water ........... Annual ................................... Flatfish, deep-water ............... Annual ................................... Rex sole ................................ Annual ................................... Arrowtooth flounder ............... Annual ................................... Flathead sole ......................... Annual ................................... Pacific ocean perch ............... Annual ................................... Northern rockfish ................... Annual ................................... Shortraker rockfish ................ Annual ................................... Dusky rockfish ....................... Annual ................................... Rougheye rockfish ................. Annual ................................... Demersal shelf rockfish ......... Thornyhead rockfish .............. Annual ................................... Annual ................................... Other rockfish ........................ Annual ................................... Atka mackerel ........................ Big skate ................................ Annual ................................... Annual ................................... Longnose skate ..................... Annual ................................... Other skates .......................... Sculpins ................................. Sharks ................................... Squids .................................... Octopuses ............................. Annual Annual Annual Annual Annual 1 The mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 2 The ................................... ................................... ................................... ................................... ................................... Ratio of 1996– 2000 non-AFA crab vessel catch to 1996– 2000 total harvest C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... SEO ...................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... Gulfwide ................................ W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... W .......................................... C ........................................... E ........................................... Gulfwide ................................ Gulfwide ................................ Gulfwide ................................ Gulfwide ................................ Gulfwide ................................ 0.0000 0.0000 0.0059 0.0001 0.0000 0.0035 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0004 0.0001 0.0000 0.0002 0.0004 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0005 0.0000 0.0013 0.0012 0.0009 0.0017 0.0000 0.0000 0.0067 0.0047 0.0008 0.0000 0.0047 0.0066 0.0045 0.0035 0.0033 0.0000 0.0000 0.0392 0.0159 0.0000 0.0392 0.0159 0.0000 0.0176 0.0176 0.0176 0.0176 0.0176 Final 2016 TACs Final 2016 non-AFA crab vessel sideboard limit 846 199 13,250 17,114 2,513 299 3,645 9,233 1,234 5,707 2,038 14,500 75,000 13,800 8,650 15,400 3,709 2,358 16,184 2,894 1,158 3,563 92 397 834 273 3,077 1,361 117 643 382 225 235 875 731 ........................ 1,031 780 2,000 731 1,257 1,267 152 2,090 976 2,235 5,569 5,989 1,148 1,507 ........................ ........................ 78 2 ........................ 1 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 6 8 ........................ 2 6 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 1 ........................ 0 0 1 0 ........................ ........................ 1 3 0 ........................ 1 6 3 ........................ 3 ........................ ........................ 29 20 ........................ 6 33 ........................ 39 98 105 20 27 Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20. Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1. Rockfish Program Groundfish Sideboard and Halibut PSC Limitations The Rockfish Program establishes three classes of sideboard provisions: CV groundfish sideboard restrictions, C/ P rockfish sideboard restrictions, and C/ P opt-out vessel sideboard restrictions. These sideboards are intended to limit VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 the ability of rockfish harvesters to expand into other fisheries. CVs participating in the Rockfish Program may not participate in directed fishing for dusky rockfish, Pacific ocean perch, and northern rockfish in the West Yakutat district and Western GOA from July 1 through July 31. Also, CVs may not participate in directed fishing for PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 arrowtooth flounder, deep-water flatfish, and rex sole in the GOA from July 1 through July 31 (§ 679.82(d)). Catcher/processors participating in Rockfish Program cooperatives are restricted by rockfish and halibut PSC sideboard limits. These C/Ps are prohibited from directed fishing for dusky rockfish, Pacific ocean perch, and E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations northern rockfish in the West Yakutat district and Western GOA from July 1 through July 31. Holders of C/Pdesignated LLP licenses that opt out of participating in a Rockfish Program cooperative will be able to access that portion of each sideboard limit that is not assigned to rockfish cooperatives. Tables 27 and 28 list the final 2015 and 2016 Rockfish Program C/P sideboard 10275 limits in the West Yakutat district and the Western GOA. Due to confidentiality requirements associated with fisheries data, the sideboard limits for the West Yakutat district are not displayed. TABLE 27—FINAL 2015 ROCKFISH PROGRAM HARVEST LIMITS BY SECTOR FOR WEST YAKUTAT DISTRICT AND WESTERN GOA BY THE CATCHER/PROCESSOR SECTOR [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Area Fishery C/P sector (% of TAC) West Yakutat District .............. Dusky rockfish ....................... Pacific ocean perch ............... Dusky rockfish ....................... Pacific ocean perch ............... Northern rockfish ................... Confidential 1 .......................... Confidential 1 .......................... 72.3 ........................................ 50.6 ........................................ 74.3 ........................................ Western GOA ......................... 1 Not Final 2015 TACs 1,288 2,014 296 2,302 1,226 Final 2015 C/P limit Confidential.1 Confidential.1 214. 1,165. 911. released due to confidentiality requirements associated with fish ticket data, as established by NMFS and the State of Alaska. TABLE 28—FINAL 2016 ROCKFISH PROGRAM HARVEST LIMITS BY SECTOR FOR WEST YAKUTAT DISTRICT AND WESTERN GOA BY THE CATCHER/PROCESSOR SECTOR [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Area Fishery C/P sector (% of TAC) West Yakutat District .............. Dusky rockfish ....................... Pacific ocean perch ............... Dusky rockfish ....................... Pacific ocean perch ............... Northern rockfish ................... Confidential 1 .......................... Confidential 1 .......................... 72.3 ........................................ 50.6 ........................................ 74.3 ........................................ Western GOA ......................... 1 Not Final 2016 TACs 1,187 2,055 273 2,358 1,158 Final 2016 C/P limit Confidential.1 Confidential.1 197. 1,193. 860. released due to confidentiality requirements associated with fish ticket data, as established by NMFS and the State of Alaska. Under the Rockfish Program, the C/P sector is subject to halibut PSC sideboard limits for the trawl deepwater and shallow-water species fisheries from July 1 through July 31. No halibut PSC sideboard limits apply to the CV sector, as vessels participating in cooperatives receive a portion of the annual halibut PSC limit. C/Ps that opt out of the Rockfish Program would be able to access that portion of the deepwater and shallow-water halibut PSC sideboard limit not assigned to C/P rockfish cooperatives. The sideboard provisions for C/Ps that elect to opt out of participating in a rockfish cooperative are described in § 679.82(c), (e), and (f). Sideboard limits are linked to the catch history of specific vessels that may choose to opt out. After March 1, NMFS will determine which C/Ps have optedout of the Rockfish Program in 2015, and will know the ratios and amounts used to calculate opt-out sideboard ratios. NMFS will then calculate any applicable opt-out sideboards and post these allocations on the Alaska Region Web site at http:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/ sustainablefisheries/rockfish/. Tables 29 and 30 list the 2015 and 2016 Rockfish Program halibut PSC limits for the catcher/processor sector. These halibut PSC limits proportionately incorporate reductions made to the annual trawl halibut PSC limits and associated season apportionments (see Tables 14 and 15). TABLE 29—FINAL 2015 ROCKFISH PROGRAM HALIBUT MORTALITY LIMITS FOR THE CATCHER/PROCESSOR SECTOR [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Deep-water species fishery halibut PSC sideboard ratio (percent) 2015 halibut mortality limit (mt) Annual shallow-water species fishery halibut PSC sideboard limit (mt) Annual deep-water species fishery halibut PSC sideboard limit (mt) Catcher/processor ................................................................ mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Sector Shallow-water species fishery halibut PSC sideboard ratio (percent) 0.10 2.50 1,759 2 44 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 10276 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 30—FINAL 2016 ROCKFISH PROGRAM HALIBUT MORTALITY LIMITS FOR THE CATCHER/PROCESSOR SECTOR [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton] Sector Shallow-water species fishery halibut PSC sideboard ratio (percent) Deep-water species fishery halibut PSC sideboard ratio (percent) 2016 halibut mortality limit (mt) Annual shallow-water species fishery halibut PSC sideboard limit (mt) Annual deep-water species fishery halibut PSC sideboard limit (mt) Catcher/processor ................................................................ 0.10 2.50 1,706 2 43 Amendment 80 Program Groundfish and PSC Sideboard Limits Amendment 80 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (Amendment 80 Program) established a limited access privilege program for the non-AFA trawl C/P sector. The Amendment 80 Program established groundfish and halibut PSC catch limits for Amendment 80 Program participants to limit the ability of participants eligible for the Amendment 80 Program to expand their harvest efforts in the GOA. Section 679.92 establishes groundfish harvesting sideboard limits on all Amendment 80 program vessels, other than the F/V GOLDEN FLEECE, to amounts no greater than the limits listed in Table 37 to 50 CFR part 679. Under regulations at § 679.92(d), the F/V GOLDEN FLEECE is prohibited from directed fishing for pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific ocean perch, dusky rockfish, and northern rockfish in the GOA. Groundfish sideboard limits for Amendment 80 Program vessels operating in the GOA are based on their average aggregate harvests from 1998 through 2004. Tables 31 and 32 list the final 2015 and 2016 sideboard limits for Amendment 80 Program vessels. NMFS will deduct all targeted or incidental catch of sideboard species made by Amendment 80 Program vessels from the sideboard limits in Tables 31 and 32. TABLE 31—FINAL 2015 GOA GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR AMENDMENT 80 PROGRAM VESSELS [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton] Ratio of Amendment 80 sector vessels 1998– 2004 catch to TAC Species Area Pollock ................................... A Season, January 20–February 25. Shumagin (610) .................... 0.003 3,632 11 B Season, March 10–May 31 Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... Shumagin (610) .................... Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... Shumagin (610) .................... 0.002 0.002 0.003 0.002 0.002 0.003 30,503 11,316 3,632 37,820 4,000 12,185 61 23 11 76 8 37 Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... Shumagin (610) .................... 0.002 0.002 0.003 14,628 18,639 12,185 29 37 37 Chirikof (620) ........................ Kodiak (630) ......................... WYK (640) ............................ W .......................................... 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.020 14,628 18,639 4,719 16,255 29 37 9 325 C ........................................... W .......................................... 0.044 0.020 27,594 10,837 1,214 217 C ........................................... WYK ...................................... W .......................................... WYK ...................................... W .......................................... W .......................................... WYK ...................................... 0.044 0.034 0.994 0.961 1.000 0.764 0.896 18,396 2,121 2,302 2,014 1,226 296 1,288 809 72 2,288 1,935 1,226 226 1,154 C Season, August 25–September 15. D Season, October 1–November 1. Pacific cod ............................. Annual ................................... A Season 1, January 1–June 10. B Season 2, September 1– December 31. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Pacific ocean perch ............... Annual ................................... Annual ................................... Northern rockfish ................... Dusky rockfish ....................... Annual ................................... Annual ................................... 1 The 2 The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20. Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 2015 TAC (mt) 2015 Amendment 80 vessel sideboards (mt) Apportionments and allocations by season 10277 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 32—FINAL 2016 GOA GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR AMENDMENT 80 PROGRAM VESSELS [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton] Ratio of Amendment 80 sector vessels 1998– 2004 catch to TAC Species Apportionments and allocations by season Area Pollock ................................ A Season, January 20–February 25. Shumagin (610) ................. 0.003 4,760 14 B Season, March 10–May 31 ..... Chirikof (620) ..................... Kodiak (630) ...................... Shumagin (610) ................. Chirikof (620) ..................... Kodiak (630) ...................... Shumagin (610) ................. 0.002 0.002 0.003 0.002 0.002 0.003 39,992 14,839 4,760 49,586 5,245 15,975 80 30 14 99 10 48 Chirikof (620) ..................... Kodiak (630) ...................... Shumagin (610) ................. 0.002 0.002 0.003 19,179 24,437 15,975 38 49 48 Chirikof (620) ..................... Kodiak (630) ...................... WYK (640) ......................... W ........................................ C ........................................ W ........................................ 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.020 0.044 0.020 19,179 24,437 6,187 16,255 27,594 10,837 38 49 12 325 1,214 217 C ........................................ WYK ................................... W ........................................ WYK ................................... W ........................................ W ........................................ WYK ................................... 0.044 0.034 0.994 0.961 1.000 0.764 0.896 18,396 2,121 2,358 2,055 1,158 273 1,187 809 72 2,344 1,975 1,158 209 1,064 C Season, August tember 15. 25–Sep- D Season, October 1–November 1. Pacific cod .......................... Annual ......................................... A Season 1, January 1–June 10 B Season 2, September 1–December 31. Pacific ocean perch ........... Annual ......................................... Annual ......................................... Northern rockfish ................ Dusky rockfish .................... Annual ......................................... Annual ......................................... 1 The 2 The 2016 TAC (mt) 2016 Amendment 80 vessel sideboards (mt) Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20. Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1. The PSC sideboard limits for Amendment 80 Program vessels in the GOA are based on the historic use of halibut PSC by Amendment 80 Program vessels in each PSC target category from 1998 through 2004. These values are slightly lower than the average historic use to accommodate two factors: Allocation of halibut PSC cooperative quota under the Central GOA Rockfish Program and the exemption of the F/V GOLDEN FLEECE from this restriction (§ 679.92(b)(2)). Tables 33 and 34 list the final 2015 and 2016 halibut PSC limits for Amendment 80 Program vessels, respectively. These tables incorporate the maximum percentages of the halibut PSC sideboard limits that may be used by Amendment 80 Program vessels as contained in Table 38 to 50 CFR part 679. These halibut PSC limits proportionately incorporate the reductions made to the annual trawl halibut PSC limits and associated seasonal apportionments (see Tables 14 and 15). Additionally, residual amounts of a seasonal Amendment 80 sideboard halibut PSC limit may carry forward to the next season limit (§ 679.92(b)(2)). TABLE 33—FINAL 2015 HALIBUT PSC LIMITS FOR AMENDMENT 80 PROGRAM VESSELS IN THE GOA [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton] Historic Amendment 80 use of the annual halibut PSC limit catch (ratio) Season dates Target fishery 1 ..................... mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Season January 20–April 1 ............... 2 ..................... April 1–July 1 ........................ 3 ..................... July 1–September 1 ............. 4 ..................... September 1–October 1 ....... 5 ..................... October 1–December 31 ...... shallow-water ........................ deep-water ............................ shallow-water ........................ deep-water ............................ shallow-water ........................ deep-water ............................ shallow-water ........................ deep-water ............................ shallow-water ........................ deep-water ............................ VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 0.0048 0.0115 0.0189 0.1072 0.0146 0.0521 0.0074 0.0014 0.0227 0.0371 2015 annual PSC limit (mt) 1,759 1,759 1,759 1,759 1,759 1,759 1,759 1,759 1,759 1,759 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... 25FER2 2015 Amendment 80 vessel PSC limit 8 20 33 189 26 92 13 2 40 65 10278 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 33—FINAL 2015 HALIBUT PSC LIMITS FOR AMENDMENT 80 PROGRAM VESSELS IN THE GOA—Continued [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton] Season Season dates Historic Amendment 80 use of the annual halibut PSC limit catch (ratio) Target fishery 2015 annual PSC limit (mt) 2015 Amendment 80 vessel PSC limit Total: ..................................... 488 TABLE 34—FINAL 2016 HALIBUT PSC LIMITS FOR AMENDMENT 80 PROGRAM VESSELS IN THE GOA [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton] Historic Amendment 80 use of the annual halibut PSC limit catch (ratio) Season Season dates Target fishery 1 ..................... January 20–April 1 ............... 2 ..................... April 1–July 1 ........................ 3 ..................... July 1–September 1 ............. 4 ..................... September 1–October 1 ....... 5 ..................... October 1–December 31 ...... shallow-water ........................ deep-water ............................ shallow-water ........................ deep-water ............................ shallow-water ........................ deep-water ............................ shallow-water ........................ deep-water ............................ shallow-water ........................ deep-water ............................ Pursuant to § 679.20(d)(1)(i), if the Regional Administrator determines (1) that any allocation or apportionment of a target species or species group allocated or apportioned to a fishery will be reached; or (2) with respect to pollock and Pacific cod, that an allocation or apportionment to an inshore or offshore component or sector allocation will be reached, the Regional Administrator may establish a directed fishing allowance (DFA) for that species or species group. 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 1,706 1,706 1,706 1,706 1,706 1,706 1,706 1,706 1,706 1,706 2016 Amendment 80 vessel PSC limit ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... ..................................... 8 20 32 183 25 89 13 2 39 63 Total: ..................................... Directed Fishing Closures 0.0048 0.0115 0.0189 0.1072 0.0146 0.0521 0.0074 0.0014 0.0227 0.0371 2016 annual PSC limit (mt) 474 GOA regulatory area or district (§ 679.20(d)(1)(iii)). The Regional Administrator has determined that the TACs for the species listed in Table 35 are necessary to account for the incidental catch of these species in other anticipated groundfish fisheries for the 2015 and 2016 fishing years. TABLE 35—2015 AND 2016 DIRECTED FISHING CLOSURES IN THE GOA [Amounts for incidental catch in other directed fisheries are in metric tons] Incidental catch amount and year (if amounts differ by year) Area/component/gear Pollock ..................................................................................................... Sablefish 2 ................................................................................................ all/offshore ..................................... all/trawl ........................................... Pacific cod ............................................................................................... Shortraker rockfish 2 ................................................................................ Rougheye rockfish 2 ................................................................................ mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Target Western, catcher/processor, trawl Central, catcher/processor, trawl ... all ................................................... all ................................................... Thornyhead rockfish ................................................................................ Other rockfish .......................................................................................... Atka mackerel .......................................................................................... Big skate .................................................................................................. Longnose skate ....................................................................................... Other skates ............................................................................................ Sharks ..................................................................................................... Squids ...................................................................................................... Octopuses ............................................................................................... all all all all all all all all all 1 Pollock ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... not applicable 1. 1,446 (2015). 1,313 (2016). 627. 1,911. 1,323. 1,122 (2015) 1,142 (2016). 1,841. 1,811. 2,000. 3,255. 3,218. 2,235. 5,989. 1,148. 1,507. is closed to directed fishing in the GOA by the offshore component under § 679.20(a)(6)(i). not applicable to participants in cooperatives conducted under the Central GOA Rockfish Program. 2 Closures VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:00 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Consequently, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator establishes the DFA for the species or species groups listed in Table 35 as zero mt. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for those species, areas, gear types, and components in the GOA listed in Table 35. These closures will remain in effect through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2016. Section 679.64(b)(5) provides for management of AFA CV groundfish harvest limits and PSC bycatch limits using directed fishing closures and PSC closures according to procedures set out at §§ 679.20(d)(1)(iv), 679.21(d)(6), and 679.21(e)(3)(v). The Regional Administrator has determined that, in addition to the closures listed above, many of the non-exempt AFA CV sideboard limits listed in Tables 21 and 22 are necessary as incidental catch to support other anticipated groundfish 10279 fisheries for the 2015 and 2016 fishing years. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iv), the Regional Administrator sets the DFAs for the species and species groups in Table 36 at zero mt. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing by nonexempt AFA CVs in the GOA for the species and specified areas listed in Table 36. These closures will remain in effect through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2016. TABLE 36—2015 AND 2016 NON-EXEMPT AFA CV SIDEBOARD DIRECTED FISHING CLOSURES FOR ALL GEAR TYPES IN THE GOA [Amounts for incidental catch in other directed fisheries are in metric tons] Species Regulatory area/district Pacific cod .............................................................. Shallow-water flatfish ............................................. Deep-water flatfish ................................................. Rex sole ................................................................. Arrowtooth flounder ................................................ Flathead sole .......................................................... Pacific ocean perch ................................................ Northern rockfish .................................................... Dusky rockfish ........................................................ Demersal shelf rockfish .......................................... Sculpins .................................................................. Squids ..................................................................... Eastern .................................................................. Eastern .................................................................. Western ................................................................. Eastern and Western ............................................. Eastern and Western ............................................. Eastern and Western ............................................. Western ................................................................. Western ................................................................. Entire GOA ............................................................ SEO District ........................................................... Entire GOA ............................................................ Entire GOA ............................................................ mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Section 680.22 provides for the management of non-AFA crab vessel sideboards using directed fishing closures in accordance with § 680.22(e)(2) and (3). The Regional Administrator has determined that the non-AFA crab vessel sideboards listed in Tables 25 and 26 are insufficient to support a directed fishery and has set the sideboard DFA at zero mt, with the exception of Pacific cod pot CV sector apportionments in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas. Therefore, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing by non-AFA crab vessels in the GOA for all species and species groups listed in Tables 25 and 26, with the exception of the Pacific cod pot CV sector apportionments in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas. Closures implemented under the 2014 and 2015 GOA harvest specifications for groundfish (79 FR 12890, March 6, 2014) remain effective under authority of these final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications, and are posted at the following Web site: http:// www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/cm/info_ bulletins/. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:00 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 regulations at 50 CFR part 679. NMFS may implement other closures during the 2015 and 2016 fishing years as necessary for effective conservation and management. Comments and Response NMFS did not receive any comments in response to the proposed 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications (79 FR 72593, December 8, 2014). 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 2015, 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 PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 Incidental catch amount 15 (inshore) and 2 (offshore). 36 in 2015, 32 in 2016. 0. 6 and 1 (2015), 5 and 1 (2016). 3 and 30. 3 and 31. 5. 0. 10 in 2015, 9 in 2016. 0. 35. 7. area. The EIS found no significant environmental consequences of this action and its alternatives. The preferred alternative is a harvest strategy in which TACs are set at a level that falls within the range of ABCs recommended by the Council’s SSC; the sum of the TACs must achieve the OY specified in the FMP. The SIR evaluates the need to prepare a Supplemental EIS (SEIS) for the 2015 and 2016 groundfish harvest specifications. An 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 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications, which were set according to the preferred harvest strategy in the EIS, do not constitute a substantial 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 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 10280 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations impacts. Additionally, the 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications will result in environmental impacts within the scope of those analyzed and disclosed in the EIS. Therefore, supplemental National Environmental Policy Act documentation is not necessary to implement the 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications. Section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that, when an agency promulgates a final rule under section 553 of Title 5 of the United States Code, after being required by that section, or any other law, to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking, the agency shall prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA). Section 604 describes the required contents of a FRFA: 1) A statement of the need for, and objectives of, the rule; 2) a statement of the significant issues raised by the public comments in response to the initial regulatory flexibility analysis, a statement of the assessment of the agency of such issues, and a statement of any changes made in the proposed rule as a result of such comments; 3) the response of the agency to any comments filed by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration in response to the proposed rule, and a detailed statement of any change made to the proposed rule in the final rule as a result of the comments; 4) a description of and an estimate of the number of small entities to which the rule will apply or an explanation of why no such estimate is available; 5) a description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements of the rule, including an estimate of the classes of small entities which will be subject to the requirement and the type of professional skills necessary for preparation of the report or record; 6) a description of the steps the agency has taken to minimize the significant economic impact on small entities consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statutes, including a statement of the factual, policy, and legal reasons for selecting the alternative adopted in the final rule and why each one of the other significant alternatives to the rule considered by the agency which affect the impact on small entities was rejected. A description of this action, its purpose, and its legal basis are contained at the beginning of the preamble to this final rule and are not repeated here. NMFS published the proposed rule on December 8, 2014 (79 FR 72593). NMFS prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) to accompany this action, and included a VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:00 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 summary in the proposed rule. The comment period closed on January 7, 2015. No comments were received on the IRFA or the economic impacts of the rule more generally. The entities directly regulated by this action include a) entities operating vessels with groundfish FFPs catching FMP groundfish in Federal waters; b) all entities operating vessels, regardless of whether they hold groundfish FFPs, catching FMP groundfish in the statewaters parallel fisheries; and c) all entities operating vessels fishing for halibut inside three miles of the shore (whether or not they have FFPs). On June 12, 2014, the Small Business Administration issued an interim final rule revising the small business size standards for several industries effective July 14, 2014 (79 FR 33647, June 12, 2014). The rule increased the size standard for Finfish Fishing from $19.0 million to $20.5 million, Shellfish Fishing from $ 5.0 million to $5.5 million, and Other Marine Fishing from $7.0 million to $7.5 million. Based on data from 2013 fishing activity, there were 1,156 individual catcher vessel entities with gross revenues meeting small entity criteria. Of these entities, 1,075 used hook-andline gear, 116 used pot gear, and 33 used trawl gear (some of these entities used more than one gear type, thus the counts of entities using the different gear types do not sum to the total number of entities above). Three individual catcher/processors met the small entity criterion; two used hook-and-line gear, and one used trawl gear. Catcher/ processor gross revenues were not reported for confidentiality reasons, however hook-and-line small entities had average gross revenues of $380,000, small pot entities had average gross revenues of $960,000, and small trawl entities had average gross revenues of $2.8 million. Some of these vessels are members of AFA inshore pollock cooperatives, of GOA rockfish cooperatives, or of BSAI crab rationalization cooperatives and, therefore, under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) it is the aggregate gross receipts of all participating members of the cooperative that must meet the threshold. Vessels that participate in these cooperatives are considered to be large entities within the meaning of the RFA. These relationships are accounted for, along with corporate affiliations among vessels, to the extent that they are known, in the estimated number of small entities. If affiliations exist of which NMFS is unaware, or if entities had non-fishing revenue sources, the estimates above may overstate the PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 number of directly regulated small entities. This action does not modify recordkeeping or reporting requirements. NMFS considered other, alternative harvest strategies when choosing the preferred harvest strategy (Alternative 2) in December 2006. These included the following: • Alternative 1: Set TACs to produce fishing mortality rates, F, that are equal to maxFABC, unless the sum of the TACs is constrained by the OY established in the FMPs. This is equivalent to setting TACs to produce harvest levels equal to the maximum permissible ABCs, as constrained by OY. The term ‘‘maxFABC’’ refers to the maximum permissible value of FABC under Amendment 56 to the groundfish FMPs. Historically, the TAC has been set at or below the ABC, therefore, this alternative represents a likely upper limit for setting the TAC within the OY and ABC limits. • Alternative 3: For species in Tiers 1, 2, and 3, set TAC to produce F equal to the most recent 5-year average actual F. For species in Tiers 4, 5, and 6, set TAC equal to the most recent 5-year average actual catch. For stocks with a high level of scientific information, TACs would be set to produce harvest levels equal to the most recent 5-year average actual fishing mortality rates. For stocks with insufficient scientific information, TACs would be set equal to the most recent 5-year average actual catch. This alternative recognizes that for some stocks, catches may fall well below ABCs, and recent average F may provide a better indicator of actual F than FABC does. • Alternative 4: 1) Set TACs for rockfish species in Tier 3 at F75%. Set TACs for rockfish species in Tier 5 at F = 0.5M. Set spatially explicit TACs for shortraker and rougheye rockfish in the GOA. 2) Taking the rockfish TACs as calculated above, reduce all other TACs by a proportion that does not vary across species, so that the sum of all TACs, including rockfish TACs, is equal to the lower bound of the area OY (116,000 mt in the GOA). This alternative sets conservative and spatially explicit TACs for rockfish species that are long-lived and late to mature and sets conservative TACs for the other groundfish species. • Alternative 5: (No Action) Set TACs at zero. These four alternatives do not meet the objectives of this action although they have a smaller adverse economic impact on small entities than the E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations preferred alternative. The Council rejected these alternatives as harvest strategies in 2006, and the Secretary did so in 2007. Alternative 1 selected harvest rates that will allow fishermen to harvest stocks at the level of ABCs, unless total harvests are constrained by the upper bound of the GOA OY of 800,000 metric tons. The sums of ABCs in 2015 and 2016 are 685,597 mt and 731,049 mt, respectively. The sums of the TACs in 2015 and 2016 are 536,158 mt and 590,161 mt, respectively. Thus, although the sum of ABCs in each year is less than 800,000 metric tons, the sums of the TACs in each year are less than the sums of the ABCs. In most cases, the Council has set TACs equal to ABCs. The divergence between aggregate TACs and aggregate ABCs reflects a variety of special species- and fishery-specific circumstances: • Pacific cod TACs are set equal to 70 percent in the Western GOA and 75 percent in the Central GOA of the Pacific cod ABCs in each year to account for the guideline harvest levels (GHL) set by the State of Alaska for its GHL Pacific cod fisheries (30 and 25 percent, respectively, of the Western and Central GOA ABCs). Thus, the difference between the Federal TACs and ABCs does not actually reflect a Pacific cod harvest below the Pacific cod ABC, as the balance is available for the State’s cod GHL fisheries. • Shallow-water flatfish and flathead sole TACs are set below ABCs in the Western and Central GOA regulatory areas. Arrowtooth flounder TACs are set below ABC in all GOA regulatory areas. Catches of these flatfish species rarely, if ever, approach the proposed ABCs or TACs. Important trawl fisheries in the GOA take halibut PSC, and are constrained by limits on the allowable halibut PSC mortality. These limits routinely force the closure of trawl fisheries before they have harvested the available groundfish ABC. Thus, actual harvests of groundfish in the GOA routinely fall short of some ABCs and TACs. Markets can also constrain harvests below the TACs, as has been the case with arrowtooth flounder, in the past. These TACs are set to allow for increased harvest opportunities for these targets while conserving the halibut PSC limit for use in other, more fully utilized, fisheries. • The other rockfish TAC is set below the ABC in the Southeast Outside district based on several factors. In addition to conservation concerns for the rockfish species in this group, there is a regulatory prohibition against using trawl gear east of 140° W. longitude. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 Because most species of other rockfish are caught exclusively with trawl gear, the catch of such species with other gear types, such as hook-and-line, is low. The commercial catch of other rockfish in the Eastern regulatory area, which includes the West Yakutat and Southeast Outside districts, has ranged from approximately 70 mt to 248 mt per year over the last decade. • The GOA-wide Atka mackerel TAC is set below the ABC. The estimates of survey biomass continue to be unreliable in the GOA. Therefore, the Council recommended and NMFS agrees that the Atka mackerel TAC in the GOA be set at an amount to support incidental catch in other directed fisheries. Alternative 3 selects harvest rates based on the most recent 5 years of harvest rates (for species in Tiers 1 through 3) or for the most recent 5 years of harvests (for species in Tiers 4 through 6). This alternative is inconsistent with the objectives of this action, because it does not take account of the most recent biological information for this fishery. Alternative 4 would lead to significantly lower harvests of all species to reduce TACs from the upper end of the OY range in the GOA to its lower end of 116,000 mt. Overall, this would reduce 2015 TACs by about 78 percent. This would lead to significant reductions in harvests of species by small entities. While production declines in the GOA would undoubtedly be associated with price increases in the GOA, these increases would still be constrained by the availability of substitutes, and are very unlikely to offset revenue declines from smaller production. Thus, this action would have a detrimental economic impact on small entities. Alternative 5, which sets all harvests equal to zero, may also address conservation issues, but would have a significant adverse economic impact on small entities. Impacts on marine mammals resulting from fishing activities conducted under this rule are discussed in the EIS and SIR (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 because delaying this rule would be contrary to the public interest. The Plan Team review occurred in November 2014, and Council consideration and recommendations occurred in December 2014. Accordingly, NMFS’ review could not begin until January 2015. For all fisheries not currently closed because the TACs established under the final PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 10281 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications (79 FR 12890, March 6, 2014) were not reached, it is possible that they would be closed prior to the expiration of a 30day delayed effectiveness period, because their TACs could be reached within that period. If implemented immediately, this rule would allow these fisheries to continue because the new TACs implemented by this rule are higher than the ones under which they are currently fishing. Certain fisheries, such as those for pollock and Pacific cod, are intensive, fast-paced fisheries. Other fisheries, such as those for sablefish, flatfish, rockfish, Atka mackerel, skates, sculpins, sharks, squids, 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 many of these fisheries. If this rule allowed for a 30-day delay in effectiveness and if a TAC were reached during those 30 days, NMFS would close directed fishing or prohibit retention for the applicable species. Any delay in allocating the final TACs in these fisheries would cause confusion to the industry and potential economic harm through unnecessary discards, thus undermining the intent of the rule. Waiving the 30-day delay allows NMFS to prevent economic loss to fishermen that could otherwise occur should the 2015 TACs be reached. 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 sideboard limits, a failure to implement the updated sideboard limits before initial season’s end could deny the intended economic protection to the non-sideboarded sectors. Conversely, in fisheries with increasing sideboard limits, economic benefit could be denied to the sideboard limited sectors. If the final harvest specifications are not effective by March 14, 2015, which is the start of the 2015 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 E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2 10282 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 along with Pacific halibut, as both hookand-line sablefish and Pacific halibut are managed under the same IFQ program. Immediate effectiveness of the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications will allow the sablefish IFQ fishery to begin concurrently with the Pacific halibut IFQ season. In addition, 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 for those species that have lower 2015 ABCs and TACs than those established in the 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications (79 FR 12890, March 6, 2014). Immediate effectiveness also would give the fishing industry the earliest possible opportunity to plan and conduct its fishing operations with VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:14 Feb 24, 2015 Jkt 235001 respect to new information about TACs. 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 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 2015 and 2016 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 2015 and 2016 fishing years, and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the FMP. This action affects all PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 9990 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 17, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–03896 Filed 2–24–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\25FER2.SGM 25FER2

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 37 (Wednesday, February 25, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 10249-10282]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-03896]



[[Page 10249]]

Vol. 80

Wednesday,

No. 37

February 25, 2015

Part III





Department of Commerce





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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration





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50 CFR Part 679





Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; 
Final 2015 and 2016 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 80 , No. 37 / Wednesday, February 25, 2015 / 
Rules and Regulations

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 140918791-4999-02]
RIN 0648-XD516


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of 
Alaska; Final 2015 and 2016 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish

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

ACTION: Final rule; harvest specifications and closures.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications, 
apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for 
the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is 
necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2015 
and 2016 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of 
the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the GOA. The intended 
effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish 
resources in the GOA in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act.

DATES: Harvest specifications and closures are effective at 1200 hrs, 
Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 25, 2015, through 2400 hrs, 
A.l.t., December 31, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the Final Alaska Groundfish Harvest 
Specifications Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Record of Decision 
(ROD), and the Supplementary Information Report (SIR) to the EIS 
prepared for this action are available from http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. The final 2014 Stock Assessment and Fishery 
Evaluation (SAFE) report for the groundfish resources of the GOA, dated 
November 2014, 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://www.npfmc.org.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the GOA groundfish fisheries in 
the exclusive economic zone of the GOA under the Fishery Management 
Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). The Council prepared 
the FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 
et seq. Regulations governing U.S. fisheries and implementing the FMP 
appear at 50 CFR parts 600, 679, and 680.
    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 of which must be within the 
optimum yield (OY) range of 116,000 to 800,000 metric tons (mt). 
Section 679.20(c)(1) further requires NMFS to publish and solicit 
public comment on proposed annual TACs, Pacific halibut prohibited 
species catch (PSC) limits, and seasonal allowances of pollock and 
Pacific cod. Upon consideration of public comment received under Sec.  
679.20(c)(1), NMFS must publish notice of final harvest specifications 
for up to two fishing years as annual target TAC, per Sec.  
679.20(c)(3)(ii). The final harvest specifications set forth in Tables 
1 through 36 of this document reflect the outcome of this process, as 
required at Sec.  679.20(c).
    The proposed 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish of 
the GOA and Pacific halibut PSC limits were published in the Federal 
Register on December 8, 2014 (79 FR 72593). Comments were invited and 
accepted through January 7, 2015. NMFS did not receive any comments on 
the proposed harvest specifications. In December 2014, NMFS consulted 
with the Council regarding the 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications. 
After considering public testimony, as well as biological and economic 
data that were available at the Council's December 2014 meeting, NMFS 
is implementing the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications, as 
recommended by the Council. For 2015, the sum of the TAC amounts is 
536,158 mt. For 2016, the sum of the TAC amounts is 590,161 mt.

Other Actions Affecting the 2015 and 2016 Harvest Specifications

Amendment 97 to the FMP: Chinook Salmon Prohibited Species Catch Limits 
in the Non-Pollock Trawl Groundfish Fisheries

    In June 2013, the Council took final action to implement measures 
to control Chinook salmon PSC in all non-pollock trawl groundfish 
fisheries in the Western and Central GOA. This action, Amendment 97 to 
the FMP, would set an initial annual PSC limit of 7,500 Chinook salmon 
apportioned among the sectors of trawl catcher/processors, trawl 
catcher vessels participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program, and 
trawl catcher vessels not participating in the Central GOA Rockfish 
Program fishing for groundfish species other than pollock. The pollock 
directed fishery is not included in the Council's recommended action, 
as that fishery is already subject to Chinook salmon PSC limits (Sec.  
679.21(h)).
    NMFS published a notice of availability for Amendment 97 on June 5, 
2014 (79 FR 32525). On September 3, 2014, the Secretary of Commerce 
(Secretary) approved Amendment 97. The proposed rule that would 
implement Amendment 97 published on June 25, 2014 (79 FR 35971), with 
public comments accepted through July 25, 2014. The proposed rule 
contains a description of the affected management areas and groundfish 
fisheries, the non-pollock trawl groundfish fisheries and associated 
sectors, the history and goals of Amendment 97, and the provisions of 
the proposed action. Those provisions include proposed Chinook salmon 
PSC limits by sector, seasonal allocations, and other aspects 
associated with the implementation of Chinook salmon PSC limits for the 
non-pollock trawl groundfish fisheries in the Western and Central GOA. 
One provision that could affect the 2016 Chinook salmon PSC limits is 
the ``incentive buffer.'' This mechanism provides for an increased 
annual Chinook salmon PSC limit if sectors catch less than their limit 
of Chinook salmon in the previous year. The final rule to implement 
Amendment 97 published on December 2, 2014 (79 FR 71350). The Chinook 
salmon PSC limits implemented by Amendment 97 were effective on January 
1, 2015. Specific sector limits for the non-pollock groundfish 
fisheries are described later in this preamble. NMFS will monitor the 
Chinook salmon PSC in the non-pollock GOA groundfish fisheries and 
close an applicable sector if it reaches its 2015 Chinook salmon PSC 
limit.

Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) and TAC Specifications

    In December 2014, the Council, its Advisory Panel (AP), and its 
Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) reviewed the most recent 
biological and harvest information about the condition of groundfish 
stocks in the GOA. This information was compiled by the Council's GOA 
Groundfish Plan Team and was presented in the draft 2014 SAFE report 
for the GOA groundfish fisheries, dated November 2014 (see ADDRESSES). 
The SAFE report contains a review of the latest scientific analyses

[[Page 10251]]

and estimates of each species' biomass and other biological parameters, 
as well as summaries of the available information on the GOA ecosystem 
and the economic condition of the groundfish fisheries off Alaska. From 
these data and analyses, the Plan Team estimates an overfishing level 
(OFL) and ABC for each species or species group. The 2014 report was 
made available for public review during the public comment period for 
the proposed harvest specifications.
    In previous years, the largest changes from the proposed to the 
final harvest specifications have been based on recent NMFS stock 
surveys, which provide updated estimates of stock biomass and spatial 
distribution, and changes to the models used for producing stock 
assessments. At the November 2014 Plan Team meeting, NMFS scientists 
presented updated and new survey results, changes to stock assessment 
models, and accompanying stock assessment estimates for all groundfish 
species and species groups that are included in the final 2014 SAFE 
report. The SSC reviewed this information at the December 2014 Council 
meeting. Changes from the proposed to the final 2015 and 2016 harvest 
specifications are discussed below.
    The final 2015 and 2016 OFLs, ABCs, and TACs are based on the best 
available biological and socioeconomic information, including projected 
biomass trends, information on assumed distribution of stock biomass, 
and revised methods used to calculate stock biomass. The FMP specifies 
the formulas, or tiers, to be used to compute OFLs and ABCs. The 
formulas applicable to a particular stock or stock complex are 
determined by the level of reliable information available to fisheries 
scientists. This information is categorized into a successive series of 
six tiers to define OFL and ABC amounts, with Tier 1 representing the 
highest level of information quality available and Tier 6 representing 
the lowest level of information quality available. The Plan Team used 
the FMP tier structure to calculate OFL and ABC amounts for each 
groundfish species. The SSC adopted the final 2015 and 2016 OFLs and 
ABCs recommended by the Plan Team for all groundfish species. The 
Council adopted the SSC's OFL and ABC recommendations and the AP's TAC 
recommendations. The final TAC recommendations were based on the ABCs 
as adjusted for other biological and socioeconomic considerations, 
including maintaining the sum of all TACs within the required OY range 
of 116,000 to 800,000 mt.
    The Council recommended 2015 and 2016 TACs that are equal to ABCs 
for sablefish, deep-water flatfish, rex sole, Pacific ocean perch, 
northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, dusky rockfish, rougheye 
rockfish, demersal shelf rockfish, thornyhead rockfish, ``other 
rockfish,'' big skates, longnose skates, other skates, sculpins, 
sharks, squids, and octopuses in the GOA. The Council recommended TACs 
for 2015 and 2016 that are less than the ABCs for pollock, Pacific cod, 
shallow-water flatfish in the Western GOA, arrowtooth flounder, 
flathead sole in the Western and Central GOA, ``other rockfish'' in the 
Southeast Outside district, and Atka mackerel. The Pacific cod TACs are 
set to accommodate the State's guideline harvest levels (GHLs) for 
Pacific cod so that the ABCs are not exceeded. The shallow-water 
flatfish, arrowtooth flounder, and flathead sole TACs are set to allow 
for increased harvest opportunities for these target species while 
conserving the halibut PSC limit for use in other, more fully utilized 
fisheries. The ``other rockfish'' TAC in the Southeast Outside District 
(SEO) is set to reduce the amount of discards. The Atka mackerel TAC is 
set to accommodate incidental catch amounts in other fisheries.
    The final 2015 and 2016 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 the groundfish 
stocks as described in the final 2014 SAFE report. NMFS also finds that 
the Council's recommendations for OFLs, ABCs, and TACs are consistent 
with the biological condition of groundfish stocks as adjusted for 
other biological and socioeconomic considerations, including 
maintaining the total TAC within the OY range. NMFS reviewed the 
Council's recommended TAC specifications and apportionments, and 
approves these harvest specifications under 50 CFR 679.20(c)(3)(ii). 
The apportionment of TAC amounts among gear types and sectors, 
processing sectors, and seasons is discussed below.
    Tables 1 and 2 list the final 2015 and 2016 OFLs, ABCs, TACs, and 
area apportionments of groundfish in the GOA. The sums of the 2015 and 
2016 ABCs are 685,597 mt and 731,049 mt, respectively, which are higher 
in 2015 and 2016 than the 2014 ABC sum of 640,675 mt (79 FR 12890, 
March 6, 2014).

Specification and Apportionment of TAC Amounts

    NMFS' apportionment of groundfish species is based on the 
distribution of biomass among the regulatory areas over which NMFS 
manages the species. Additional regulations govern the apportionment of 
pollock, Pacific cod, and sablefish. Additional detail on the 
apportionment of pollock, Pacific cod, and sablefish are described 
below.
    The ABC for the pollock stock in the combined Western, Central, and 
West Yakutat Regulatory Areas (W/C/WYK) includes the amount for the GHL 
established by the State for the Prince William Sound (PWS) pollock 
fishery. The Plan Team, SSC, AP, and Council recommended that the sum 
of all State and Federal water pollock removals from the GOA not exceed 
ABC recommendations. Based on genetic studies, fisheries scientists 
believe that the pollock in PWS is not a separate stock from the 
combined W/C/WYK population. Since 1996, the Plan Team has had a 
protocol of recommending that the GHL amount be deducted from the GOA-
wide ABC. For 2015 and 2016, the SSC recommended and the Council 
approved the W/C/WYK pollock ABC including the amount to account for 
the State's PWS GHL. At the November 2014 Plan Team meeting, State 
fisheries managers recommended setting the PWS GHL at 2.5 percent of 
the annual W/C/WYK pollock ABC. For 2015, this yields a PWS pollock GHL 
of 4,783 mt, an increase of 620 mt from the 2014 PWS GHL of 4,163 mt. 
For 2016, the PWS pollock GHL is 6,271 mt, an increase of 2,108 mt from 
the 2014 PWS pollock GHL.
    The Council also adopted the SSC's recommendation to revise the 
terminology used when apportioning pollock in the Western, Central, and 
West Yakutat Regulatory Areas. The SSC recommended describing 
apportionments of pollock to the Western, Central, and West Yakutat 
Regulatory Areas as ``apportionments of annual catch limit (ACLs)'' 
rather than ``ABCs.'' The SSC annually recommends a combined pollock 
ABC for the Western, Central, and West Yakutat Regulatory Areas based 
on factors such as scientific uncertainty in the estimate of the area-
wide OFL, data uncertainty, and recruitment variability. Section 
3.2.3.3.2 of FMP specifies that the ACL is equal to the ABC. 
Historically, the SSC has recommended apportioning the combined 
Western, Central, and West Yakutat ABC between these three individual 
Regulatory Areas. However, the subarea ABCs have not been based on 
scientific uncertainty in the OFL,

[[Page 10252]]

data uncertainty, or other conservation or biological concerns, but 
rather on seasonal and spatial apportionment procedures established 
under the Steller sea lion protection measures for pollock TAC in the 
Western and Central Regulatory Areas. The SSC noted that describing 
subarea apportionments as ``apportionments of the ACL'' more accurately 
reflects that such apportionments address management, rather than 
biological or conservation, concerns. In addition, apportioning the ACL 
in this manner allow NMFS to balance any transfer of TAC from one area 
to another pursuant to regulations at Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B) to 
ensure that the area-wide ACL and ABC are not exceeded. The SSC noted 
that this terminology change is acceptable for pollock in the Western, 
Central, and West Yakutat Regulatory Areas only. There is one aggregate 
pollock OFL in these areas, and Steller sea lion protection measures 
provide a spatial and seasonal apportionment procedure for the pollock 
TAC in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas. This change is not 
applicable for pollock in the Southeast Outside GOA Regulatory Area, 
which is managed as a separate stock.
    NMFS establishes pollock TACs in the Western, Central, West Yakutat 
Regulatory Areas, and the Southeast Outside District of the GOA (see 
Tables 1 and 2). NMFS also establishes seasonal apportionments of the 
annual pollock TAC in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the 
GOA among Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630. These apportionments are 
divided equally among each of the following four seasons: The A season 
(January 20 through March 10), the B season (March 10 through May 31), 
the C season (August 25 through October 1), and the D season (October 1 
through November 1) (Sec.  679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), and Sec.  
679.20(a)(5)(iv)(A) and (B)). Additional detail is provided below; 
Tables 3 and 4 list these amounts.
    The 2015 and 2016 Pacific cod TACs are set to accommodate the 
State's GHL for Pacific cod in State waters in the Central and Western 
Regulatory Areas, as well as in PWS. The Plan Team, SSC, AP, and 
Council recommended that the sum of all State and Federal water Pacific 
cod removals from the GOA not exceed ABC recommendations. Accordingly, 
the Council set the 2015 and 2016 Pacific cod TACs in the Eastern, 
Central, and Western Regulatory Areas to account for State GHLs. 
Therefore, the 2015 and 2016 Pacific cod TACs are less than the ABCs by 
the following amounts: (1) Eastern GOA, 707 mt; (2) Central GOA, 15,330 
mt; and (3) Western GOA, 11,611 mt. These amounts reflect the sum of 
the State's 2015 and 2016 GHLs in these areas, which are 25 percent of 
the Eastern and Central ABCs, and 30 percent of the Western GOA ABC.
    NMFS establishes seasonal apportionments of the annual Pacific cod 
TAC in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas. Sixty percent of the 
annual TAC is apportioned to the A season for hook-and-line, pot, and 
jig gear from January 1 through June 10, and for trawl gear from 
January 20 through June 10. Forty percent of the annual TAC is 
apportioned to the B season for hook-and-line, pot, and jig gear from 
September 1 through December 31, and for trawl gear from September 1 
through November 1 (Sec. Sec.  679.23(d)(3) and 679.20(a)(12)). The 
Central and Western GOA Pacific cod TACs are allocated among various 
gear and operational sectors. The Pacific cod sector apportionments are 
discussed in detail in a subsequent section of this preamble.
    The Council's recommendation for sablefish area apportionments 
takes into account the prohibition on the use of trawl gear in the SEO 
District of the Eastern Regulatory Area and makes available 5 percent 
of the combined Eastern Regulatory Area ABCs to trawl gear for use as 
incidental catch in other groundfish fisheries in the WYK District 
(Sec.  679.20(a)(4)(i)). Tables 7 and 8 list the final 2015 and 2016 
allocations of sablefish TAC to hook-and-line and trawl gear in the 
GOA.

Changes From the Proposed 2015 and 2016 Harvest Specifications in the 
GOA

    In October 2014, the Council's recommendations for the proposed 
2015 and 2016 harvest specifications (79 FR 72593, December 8, 2014) 
were based largely on information contained in the final 2013 SAFE 
report for the GOA groundfish fisheries, dated November 2013 (see 
ADDRESSES). The Council proposed that the final OFLs, ABCs, and TACs 
established for the 2015 groundfish fisheries (79 FR 12890, March 6, 
2014) be used for the proposed 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications, 
pending completion and review of the 2014 SAFE report at its December 
2014 meeting.
    As described previously, the SSC adopted the final 2015 and 2016 
OFLs and ABCs recommended by the Plan Team. The Council adopted the 
SSC's OFL and ABC recommendations and the AP's TAC recommendations for 
2015 and 2016. The final 2015 ABCs are higher than the proposed 2015 
ABCs published in the proposed 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications (79 
FR 72593, December 8, 2014) for pollock, Pacific cod, sablefish, 
shallow-water flatfish, deep-water flatfish, arrowtooth flounder, 
flathead sole, Pacific ocean perch, dusky rockfish, longnose skate, and 
``other skates.'' The final 2015 ABCs are lower than the proposed 2015 
ABCs for northern rockfish, rougheye rockfish, demersal shelf rockfish, 
and big skates. The final 2016 ABCs are higher than the proposed 2016 
ABCs for pollock, Pacific cod, shallow-water flatfish, flathead sole, 
Pacific ocean perch, longnose skate, and ``other skates.'' The final 
2016 ABCs are lower than the proposed 2016 ABCs for deep-water 
flatfish, rex sole, arrowtooth flounder, northern rockfish, dusky 
rockfish, rougheye rockfish, and big skates. For the remaining target 
species--Atka mackerel, sculpins, sharks, squids, and octopus--the 
Council recommended, and the Secretary approved, the final 2015 and 
2016 ABCs that are the same as the proposed 2015 and 2016 ABCs.
    Additional information explaining the changes between the proposed 
and final ABCs is included in the final 2014 SAFE report, which was not 
available when the Council made its proposed ABC and TAC 
recommendations in October 2014. At that time, the most recent stock 
assessment information was contained in the final 2013 SAFE report. The 
final 2014 SAFE report contains the best and most recent scientific 
information on the condition of the groundfish stocks, as previously 
discussed in this preamble, and is available for review (see 
ADDRESSES). The Council considered the final 2014 SAFE report in 
December 2014 when it made recommendations for the final 2015 and 2016 
harvest specifications. In the GOA, the total final 2015 TAC amount is 
536,158 mt, an increase of 5 percent from the total proposed 2015 TAC 
amount of 511,599 mt. The total final 2016 TAC amount is 590,161 mt, an 
increase of 15 percent from the total proposed 2016 TAC amount of 
511,599 mt. The following table in this preamble summarizes the 
principle reason for the difference between the proposed and final 
TACs.
    Based on changes to the assessment method (model) used by stock 
assessment scientists, for 2015 and 2016 the greatest TAC increase is 
for Pacific cod. Based on changes in the estimates of overall biomass, 
the greatest TAC increases are for shallow-water flatfish, longnose 
skate, other skates, and Pacific ocean perch. Based upon changes in the 
estimates of biomass, the greatest decreases in TACs are for rougheye 
rockfish, demersal shelf rockfish, and big skate. For all other species 
and species groups, changes from the

[[Page 10253]]

proposed to the final TACs are within plus or minus five percent of the 
proposed TACs. These TAC changes correspond to associated changes in 
the ABCs and TACs, as recommended by the SSC, AP, and Council.
    Additionally, based upon the Council's recommended changes in 
setting the TACs at amounts below ABCs, the greatest decreases in TACs 
are for shallow-water flatfish, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, and 
``other rockfish.'' The Council believed, and NMFS concurs, that 
setting TACs for the three preceding flatfish species equal to ABCs 
would not reflect anticipated harvest levels accurately, as the Council 
and NMFS expect halibut PSC limits to constrain these fisheries in 2015 
and 2016.
    Detailed information providing the basis for the changes described 
above is contained in the final 2014 SAFE report. The final TACs are 
based on the best scientific information available. These TACs are 
specified in compliance with the harvest strategy described in the 
proposed and final rules for the 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications. 
The changes in TACs between the proposed rule and this final rule are 
compared in the following table.

                                     Comparison of Proposed and Final 2015 and 2016 GOA Total Allowable Catch Limits
                                              [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentage]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         2015 and                 2015 Final                             2016 final
                                           2016      2015 Final   minus 2015   Percentage   2016 final   minus 2016   Percentage   Principle reason for
               Species                   proposed       TAC        Proposed    difference      TAC        proposed    difference        difference
                                           TAC                       TAC                                    TAC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock..............................      193,809      199,151        5,342            3      257,178       63,369           33  Model \1\
Pacific cod..........................       61,519       75,202       13,683           22       75,202       13,683           22  Model
Sablefish............................        9,554       10,522          968           10        9,558            4            0  N/A
Shallow-water flatfish...............       32,027       35,381        3,354           10       32,877          850            3  Biomass \2\
Deep-water flatfish..................       13,303       13,334           31            0       13,177         -126           -1  Biomass
Rex sole.............................        9,155        9,150           -5            0        8,979         -176           -2  Biomass
Arrowtooth flounder..................      103,300      103,300            0            0      103,300            0            0  N/A
Flathead sole........................       27,726       27,756           30            0       27,759           33            0  N/A
Pacific ocean perch..................       19,764       21,012        1,248            6       21,436        1,672            8  Biomass
Northern rockfish....................        5,010        4,998          -12            0        4,721         -289           -6  Biomass
Shortraker rockfish..................        1,323        1,323            0            0        1,323            0            0  N/A
Dusky rockfish.......................        5,081        5,109           28            1        4,711         -370           -7  Biomass
Rougheye rockfish....................        1,262        1,122         -140          -11        1,142         -120          -10  Biomass
Demersal shelf rockfish..............          274          225          -49          -18          225          -49          -18  Biomass
Thornyhead rockfish..................        1,841        1,841            0            0        1,841            0            0  N/A
Other rockfish.......................        1,811        1,811            0            0        1,811            0            0  N/A
Atka mackerel........................        2,000        2,000            0            0        2,000            0            0  N/A
Big skate............................        3,762        3,255         -507          -13        3,255         -507          -13  Biomass
Longnose skate.......................        2,876        3,218          342           12        3,218          342           12  Biomass
Other skates.........................        1,989        2,235          246           12        2,235          246           12  Biomass
Sculpins.............................        5,569        5,569            0            0        5,569            0            0  N/A
Sharks...............................        5,989        5,989            0            0        5,989            0            0  N/A
Squids...............................        1,148        1,148            0            0        1,148            0            0  N/A
Octopuses............................        1,507        1,507            0            0        1,507            0            0  N/A
                                      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total............................      511,599      536,158       24,559            5      590,161       78,562           15  ......................
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Model--Change in assessment methodology.
\2\ Biomass--Change in estimate of biomass.

    The final 2015 and 2016 TAC recommendations for the GOA are within 
the OY range established for the GOA and do not exceed the ABC for any 
species or species group. Tables 1 and 2 list the final OFL, ABC, and 
TAC amounts for GOA groundfish for 2015 and 2016, respectively.

 Table 1--Final 2015 ABCs, TACs, and OFLs of Groundfish for the Western/Central/West Yakutat, Western, Central,
   Eastern Regulatory Areas, and in the West Yakutat, Southeast Outside, and Gulfwide Districts of the Gulf of
                                                     Alaska
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Species                              Area \1\                OFL          ABC          TAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock \2\...............................  Shumagin (610)...............          n/a       31,634       31,634
                                            Chirikof (620)...............          n/a       97,579       97,579
                                            Kodiak (630).................          n/a       52,594       52,594
                                            WYK (640)....................          n/a        4,719        4,719
                                            W/C/WYK (subtotal)...........      256,545      191,309      186,526
                                            SEO (650)....................       16,833       12,625       12,625
                                            Total........................      273,378      203,934      199,151
Pacific cod \3\...........................  W............................          n/a       38,702       27,091
                                            C............................          n/a       61,320       45,990
                                            E............................          n/a        2,828        2,121
                                            Total........................      140,300      102,850       75,202
Sablefish \4\.............................  W............................          n/a        1,474        1,474
                                            C............................          n/a        4,658        4,658
                                            WYK..........................          n/a        1,708        1,708
                                            SEO..........................          n/a        2,682        2,682
                                            E (WYK and SEO) (subtotal)...          n/a        4,390        4,390

[[Page 10254]]

 
                                            Total........................       12,425       10,522       10,522
Shallow-water flatfish \5\................  W............................          n/a       22,074       13,250
                                            C............................          n/a       19,297       19,297
                                            WYK..........................          n/a        2,209        2,209
                                            SEO..........................          n/a          625          625
                                            Total........................       54,207       44,205       35,381
Deep-water flatfish \6\...................  W............................          n/a          301          301
                                            C............................          n/a        3,689        3,689
                                            WYK..........................          n/a        5,474        5,474
                                            SEO..........................          n/a        3,870        3,870
                                            Total........................       15,993       13,334       13,334
Rex sole..................................  W............................          n/a        1,258        1,258
                                            C............................          n/a        5,816        5,816
                                            WYK..........................          n/a          772          772
                                            SEO..........................          n/a        1,304        1,304
                                            Total........................       11,957        9,150        9,150
Arrowtooth flounder.......................  W............................          n/a       30,752       14,500
                                            C............................          n/a      114,170       75,000
                                            WYK..........................          n/a       36,771        6,900
                                            SEO..........................          n/a       11,228        6,900
                                            Total........................      226,390      192,921      103,300
Flathead sole.............................  W............................          n/a       12,767        8,650
                                            C............................          n/a       24,876       15,400
                                            WYK..........................          n/a        3,535        3,535
                                            SEO..........................          n/a          171          171
                                            Total........................       50,792       41,349       27,756
Pacific ocean perch \7\...................  W............................          n/a        2,302        2,302
                                            C............................          n/a       15,873       15,873
                                            WYK..........................          n/a        2,014        2,014
                                            W/C/WYK subtotal.............       23,406       20,189       20,189
                                            SEO..........................          954          823          823
                                            Total........................       24,360       21,012       21,012
Northern rockfish \8\.....................  W............................          n/a        1,226        1,226
                                            C............................          n/a        3,772        3,772
                                            E............................          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                            Total........................        5,961        4,998        4,998
Shortraker rockfish \9\...................  W............................          n/a           92           92
                                            C............................          n/a          397          397
                                            E............................          n/a          834          834
                                            Total........................        1,764        1,323        1,323
Dusky rockfish \10\.......................  W............................          n/a          296          296
                                            C............................          n/a        3,336        3,336
                                            WYK..........................          n/a        1,288        1,288
                                            SEO..........................          n/a          189          189
                                            Total........................        6,246        5,109        5,109
Rougheye and Blackspotted rockfish \11\...  W............................          n/a          115          115
                                            C............................          n/a          632          632
                                            E............................          n/a          375          375
                                            Total........................        1,345        1,122        1,122
Demersal shelf rockfish \12\..............  SEO..........................          361          225          225
Thornyhead rockfish.......................  W............................          n/a          235          235
                                            C............................          n/a          875          875
                                            E............................          n/a          731          731
                                            Total........................        2,454        1,841        1,841
Other rockfish 13 14......................  W and C......................          n/a        1,031        1,031
                                            WYK..........................          n/a          580          580
                                            SEO..........................          n/a        2,469          200
                                            Total........................        5,347        4,080        1,811
Atka mackerel.............................  GW...........................        6,200        4,700        2,000
Big skate \15\............................  W............................          n/a          731          731
                                            C............................          n/a        1,257        1,257
                                            E............................          n/a        1,267        1,267
                                            Total........................        4,340        3,255        3,255
Longnose skate \16\.......................  W............................          n/a          152          152
                                            C............................          n/a        2,090        2,090
                                            E............................          n/a          976          976
                                            Total........................        4,291        3,218        3,218
Other skates \17\.........................  GW...........................        2,980        2,235        2,235

[[Page 10255]]

 
Sculpins..................................  GW...........................        7,448        5,569        5,569
Sharks....................................  GW...........................        7,986        5,989        5,989
Squids....................................  GW...........................        1,530        1,148        1,148
Octopus...................................  GW...........................        2,009        1,507        1,507
                                           ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.................................  .............................      870,064      685,597      536,158
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Regulatory areas and districts are defined at Sec.   679.2. (W = Western Gulf of Alaska; C = Central Gulf of
  Alaska; E = Eastern Gulf of Alaska; WYK = West Yakutat District; SEO = Southeast Outside District; GW = Gulf-
  wide).
\2\ The aggregate pollock ABC for the Western, Central, and West Yakutat Regulatory Areas is apportioned among
  four statistical areas after deducting 2.5 percent of the ABC for the State's pollock GHL fishery. These
  apportionments are considered subarea ACLs, rather than ABCs, for specification and reapportionment purposes.
  The ACLs in Areas 610, 620, and 630 are further divided by season, as detailed in Table 3. In the West Yakutat
  and Southeast Outside Districts of the Eastern Regulatory Area, pollock is not divided into seasonal
  allowances.
\3\ The annual Pacific cod TAC is apportioned 60 percent to the A season and 40 percent to the B season in the
  Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA. Pacific cod in the Eastern Regulatory Area is allocated 90
  percent for processing by the inshore component and 10 percent for processing by the offshore component. Table
  5 lists the final 2015 Pacific cod seasonal apportionments.
\4\ Sablefish is allocated to trawl and hook-and-line gear in 2015. Table 7 lists the final 2015 allocations of
  sablefish TACs.
\5\ ``Shallow-water flatfish'' means flatfish not including ``deep-water flatfish,'' flathead sole, rex sole, or
  arrowtooth flounder.
\6\ ``Deep-water flatfish'' means Dover sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, and deepsea sole.
\7\ ``Pacific ocean perch'' means Sebastes alutus.
\8\ ``Northern rockfish'' means Sebastes polyspinis. For management purposes the 2 mt apportionment of ABC to
  the WYK District of the Eastern Gulf of Alaska has been included in the other rockfish species group.
\9\ ``Shortraker rockfish'' means Sebastes borealis.
\10\ ``Dusky rockfish'' means Sebastes variabilis.
\11\ ``Rougheye rockfish'' means Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted).
\12\ ``Demersal shelf rockfish'' means Sebastes pinniger (canary), S. nebulosus (china), S. caurinus (copper),
  S. maliger (quillback), S. helvomaculatus (rosethorn), S. nigrocinctus (tiger), and S. ruberrimus (yelloweye).
\13\ ``Other rockfish'' means Sebastes aurora (aurora), S. melanostomus (blackgill), S. paucispinis (bocaccio),
  S. goodei (chilipepper), S. crameri (darkblotch), S. elongatus (greenstriped), S. variegatus (harlequin), S.
  wilsoni (pygmy), S. babcocki (redbanded), S. proriger (redstripe), S. zacentrus (sharpchin), S. jordani
  (shortbelly), S. brevispinis (silvergrey), S. diploproa (splitnose), S. saxicola (stripetail), S. miniatus
  (vermilion), S. reedi (yellowmouth), S. entomelas (widow), and S. flavidus (yellowtail). In the Eastern GOA
  only, other rockfish also includes northern rockfish, S. polyspinis.
\14\ ``Other rockfish'' in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas and in the West Yakutat District means other
  rockfish and demersal shelf rockfish. The ``other rockfish'' species group in the SEO District only includes
  other rockfish.
\15\ ``Big skate'' means Raja binoculata.
\16\ ``Longnose skate'' means Raja rhina.
\17\ ``Other skates'' means Bathyraja spp.


 Table 2--Final 2016 ABCs, TACs, and OFLs of Groundfish for the Western/Central/West Yakutat, Western, Central,
   Eastern Regulatory Areas, and in the West Yakutat, Southeast Outside, and Gulfwide Districts of the Gulf of
                                                     Alaska
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Species                              Area \1\                OFL          ABC          TAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock \2\...............................  Shumagin (610)...............          n/a       41,472       41,472
                                            Chirikof (620)...............          n/a      127,936      127,936
                                            Kodiak (630).................          n/a       68,958       68,958
                                            WYK (640)....................          n/a        6,187        6,187
                                            W/C/WYK (subtotal)...........      321,067      250,824      244,553
                                            SEO (650)....................       16,833       12,625       12,625
                                            Total........................      337,900      263,449      257,178
Pacific cod \3\...........................  W............................          n/a       38,702       27,091
                                            C............................          n/a       61,320       45,990
                                            E............................          n/a        2,828        2,121
                                            Total........................      133,100      102,850       75,202
Sablefish \4\.............................  W............................          n/a        1,338        1,338
                                            C............................          n/a        4,232        4,232
                                            WYK..........................          n/a        1,552        1,552
                                            SEO..........................          n/a        2,436        2,436
                                            E (WYK and SEO) (subtotal)...          n/a        3,988        3,988
                                            Total........................       11,293        9,558        9,558
Shallow-water flatfish \5\................  W............................          n/a       19,577       13,250
                                            C............................          n/a       17,114       17,114
                                            WYK..........................          n/a        1,959        1,959
                                            SEO..........................          n/a          554          554
                                            Total........................       48,407       39,204       32,877
Deep-water flatfish \6\...................  W............................          n/a          299          299
                                            C............................          n/a        3,645        3,645
                                            WYK..........................          n/a        5,409        5,409
                                            SEO..........................          n/a        3,824        3,824

[[Page 10256]]

 
                                            Total........................       15,803       13,177       13,177
Rex sole..................................  W............................          n/a        1,234        1,234
                                            C............................          n/a        5,707        5,707
                                            WYK..........................          n/a          758          758
                                            SEO..........................          n/a        1,280        1,280
                                            Total........................       11,733        8,979        8,979
Arrowtooth flounder.......................  W............................          n/a       29,545       14,500
                                            C............................          n/a      109,692       75,000
                                            WYK..........................          n/a       35,328        6,900
                                            SEO..........................          n/a       10,787        6,900
                                            Total........................      217,522      185,352      103,300
Flathead sole.............................  W............................          n/a       12,776        8,650
                                            C............................          n/a       24,893       15,400
                                            WYK..........................          n/a        3,538        3,538
                                            SEO..........................          n/a          171          171
                                            Total........................       50,818       41,378       27,759
Pacific ocean perch \7\...................  W............................          n/a        2,358        2,358
                                            C............................          n/a       16,184       16,184
                                            WYK..........................          n/a        2,055        2,055
                                            W/C/WYK......................       23,876       20,597       20,597
                                            SEO..........................          973          839          839
                                            Total........................       24,849       21,436       21,436
Northern rockfish \8\.....................  W............................          n/a        1,158        1,158
                                            C............................          n/a        3,563        3,563
                                            E............................          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                            Total........................        5,631        4,721        4,721
Shortraker rockfish \9\...................  W............................          n/a           92           92
                                            C............................          n/a          397          397
                                            E............................          n/a          834          834
                                            Total........................        1,764        1,323        1,323
Dusky rockfish \10\.......................  W............................          n/a          273          273
                                            C............................          n/a        3,077        3,077
                                            WYK..........................          n/a        1,187        1,187
                                            SEO..........................          n/a          174          174
                                            Total........................        5,759        4,711        4,711
Rougheye and Blackspotted rockfish \11\...  W............................          n/a          117          117
                                            C............................          n/a          643          643
                                            E............................          n/a          382          382
                                            Total........................        1,370        1,142        1,142
Demersal shelf rockfish \12\..............  SEO..........................          361          225          225
Thornyhead rockfish.......................  W............................          n/a          235          235
                                            C............................          n/a          875          875
                                            E............................          n/a          731          731
                                            Total........................        2,454        1,841        1,841
Other rockfish 13 14......................  W and C......................          n/a        1,031        1,031
                                            WYK..........................          n/a          580          580
                                            SEO..........................          n/a        2,469          200
                                            Total........................        5,347        4,080        1,811
Atka mackerel.............................  GW...........................        6,200        4,700        2,000
Big skate \15\............................  W............................          n/a          731          731
                                            C............................          n/a        1,257        1,257
                                            E............................          n/a        1,267        1,267
                                            Total........................        4,340        3,255        3,255
Longnose skate \16\.......................  W............................          n/a          152          152
                                            C............................          n/a        2,090        2,090
                                            E............................          n/a          976          976
                                            Total........................        4,291        3,218        3,218
Other skates \17\.........................  GW...........................        2,980        2,235        2,235
Sculpins..................................  GW...........................        7,448        5,569        5,569
Sharks....................................  GW...........................        7,986        5,989        5,989
Squids....................................  GW...........................        1,530        1,148        1,148
Octopus...................................  GW...........................        2,009        1,507        1,507
                                           ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.................................  .............................      910,895      731,049      590,161
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Regulatory areas and districts are defined at Sec.   679.2. (W = Western Gulf of Alaska; C = Central Gulf of
  Alaska; E = Eastern Gulf of Alaska; WYK = West Yakutat District; SEO = Southeast Outside District; GW = Gulf-
  wide).

[[Page 10257]]

 
\2\ The aggregate pollock ABC for the Western, Central, and West Yakutat Regulatory Areas is apportioned among
  four statistical areas after deducting 2.5 percent of the ABC for the State's pollock GHL fishery. These
  apportionments are considered subarea ACLs, rather than ABCs, for specification and reapportionment purposes.
  The ACLs in Areas 610, 620, and 630 are further divided by season, as detailed in Table 4. In the West Yakutat
  and Southeast Outside Districts of the Eastern Regulatory Area, pollock is not divided into seasonal
  allowances.
\3\ The annual Pacific cod TAC is apportioned 60 percent to the A season and 40 percent to the B season in the
  Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA. Pacific cod in the Eastern Regulatory Area is allocated 90
  percent for processing by the inshore component and 10 percent for processing by the offshore component. Table
  6 lists the final 2016 Pacific cod seasonal apportionments.
\4\ Sablefish is only allocated to trawl gear for 2016. Table 8 lists the final 2016 allocation of sablefish
  TACs to trawl gear.
\5\ ``Shallow-water flatfish'' means flatfish not including ``deep-water flatfish,'' flathead sole, rex sole, or
  arrowtooth flounder.
\6\ ``Deep-water flatfish'' means Dover sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, and deepsea sole.
\7\ ``Pacific ocean perch'' means Sebastes alutus.
\8\ ``Northern rockfish'' means Sebastes polyspinis. For management purposes the 2 mt apportionment of ABC to
  the WYK District of the Eastern Gulf of Alaska has been included in the other rockfish species group.
\9\ ``Shortraker rockfish'' means Sebastes borealis.
\10\ ``Dusky rockfish'' means Sebastes variabilis.
\11\ ``Rougheye rockfish'' means Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted).
\12\ ``Demersal shelf rockfish'' means Sebastes pinniger (canary), S. nebulosus (china), S. caurinus (copper),
  S. maliger (quillback), S. helvomaculatus (rosethorn), S. nigrocinctus (tiger), and S. ruberrimus (yelloweye).
\13\ ``Other rockfish'' means Sebastes aurora (aurora), S. melanostomus (blackgill), S. paucispinis (bocaccio),
  S. goodei (chilipepper), S. crameri (darkblotch), S. elongatus (greenstriped), S. variegatus (harlequin), S.
  wilsoni (pygmy), S. babcocki (redbanded), S. proriger (redstripe), S. zacentrus (sharpchin), S. jordani
  (shortbelly), S. brevispinis (silvergrey), S. diploproa (splitnose), S. saxicola (stripetail), S. miniatus
  (vermilion), S. reedi (yellowmouth), S. entomelas (widow), and S. flavidus (yellowtail). In the Eastern GOA
  only, other rockfish also includes northern rockfish, S. polyspinis.
\14\ ``Other rockfish'' in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas and in the West Yakutat District means other
  rockfish and demersal shelf rockfish. The ``other rockfish'' species group in the SEO District only includes
  other rockfish.
\15\ ``Big skate'' means Raja binoculata.
\16\ ``Longnose skate'' means Raja rhina.
\17\ ``Other skates'' means Bathyraja spp.

Apportionment of Reserves

    Section 679.20(b)(2) requires NMFS to set aside 20 percent of each 
TAC for pollock, Pacific cod, flatfish, sculpins, sharks, squids, and 
octopuses in reserve for possible apportionment at a later date during 
the fishing year. For 2015 and 2016, NMFS proposed reapportionment of 
all the reserves in the proposed 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications 
published in the Federal Register on December 8, 2014 (79 FR 72593). 
NMFS did not receive any public comments on the proposed 
reapportionments. For the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications, 
NMFS reapportioned, as proposed, all the reserves for pollock, Pacific 
cod, flatfish, sculpins, sharks, squids, and octopuses. The TACs listed 
in Tables 1 and 2 reflect reapportionments of reserve amounts for these 
species and species groups.

Apportionments of Pollock TAC Among Seasons and Regulatory Areas, and 
Allocations for Processing by Inshore and Offshore Components

    In the GOA, pollock is apportioned by season and area, and is 
further allocated for processing by inshore and offshore components. 
Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B), the annual pollock TAC specified 
for the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA is apportioned 
into four equal seasonal allowances of 25 percent. As established by 
Sec.  679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), the A, B, C, and D season 
allowances are available from January 20 to March 10, March 10 to May 
31, August 25 to October 1, and October 1 to November 1, respectively.
    Pollock TACs in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA 
are apportioned among Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, pursuant to 
Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(A). In the A and B seasons, the apportionments 
are in proportion to the distribution of pollock biomass based on the 
four most recent NMFS winter surveys. In the C and D seasons, the 
apportionments are in proportion to the distribution of pollock biomass 
based on the four most recent NMFS summer surveys. However, for 2015 
and 2016, the Council recommended, and NMFS approves, averaging the 
winter and summer distribution of pollock in the Central Regulatory 
Area for the A season instead of using the distribution based on only 
the winter surveys. The average is intended to reflect the migration 
patterns and distribution of pollock, and the anticipated performance 
of the fishery, in that area during the A season for the 2015 and 2016 
fishing years. For the A season, the apportionment is based on an 
adjusted estimate of the relative distribution of pollock biomass of 
approximately 8 percent, 67 percent, and 25 percent in Statistical 
Areas 610, 620, and 630, respectively. For the B season, the 
apportionment is based on the relative distribution of pollock biomass 
at 8 percent, 83 percent, and 9 percent in Statistical Areas 610, 620, 
and 630, respectively. For the C and D seasons, the apportionment is 
based on the relative distribution of pollock biomass at 27 percent, 32 
percent, and 41 percent in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, 
respectively.
    Within any fishing year, the amount by which a seasonal allowance 
is underharvested or overharvested may be added to, or subtracted from, 
subsequent seasonal allowances in a manner to be determined by the 
Regional Administrator (Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B)). The rollover amount 
is limited to 20 percent of the subsequent seasonal apportionment for 
the statistical area. Any unharvested pollock above the 20-percent 
limit could be further distributed to the other statistical areas, in 
proportion to the estimated biomass in the subsequent season in those 
statistical areas (Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B)). The pollock TACs in the 
WYK and SEO District of 4,719 mt and 12,625 mt, respectively, in 2015, 
and 6,187 mt and 12,625 mt, respectively, in 2016, are not allocated by 
season.
    Section 679.20(a)(6)(i) requires the allocation of 100 percent of 
the pollock TAC in all regulatory areas and all seasonal allowances to 
vessels catching pollock for processing by the inshore component after 
subtraction of amounts projected by the Regional Administrator to be 
caught by, or delivered to, the offshore component incidental to 
directed fishing for other groundfish species. Thus, the amount of 
pollock available for harvest by vessels harvesting pollock for 
processing by the offshore component is that amount that will be taken 
as incidental catch during directed fishing for groundfish species 
other than pollock, up to the maximum retainable amounts allowed by 
Sec.  679.20(e) and (f). At this time, these incidental catch amounts 
of pollock are unknown and will be determined during the fishing year 
during the course of fishing activities by the offshore component.

[[Page 10258]]

    Tables 3 and 4 list the final 2015 and 2016 seasonal biomass 
distribution of pollock in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas, 
area apportionments, and seasonal allowances. The amounts of pollock 
for processing by the inshore and offshore components are not shown.

 Table 3--Final 2015 Distribution of Pollock in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the GOA; Seasonal Biomass Distribution, Area Apportionments;
                                                          and Seasonal Allowances of Annual TAC
                             [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages are rounded to the nearest 0.01]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Season \1\                              Shumagin (Area 610)
                                                                  Chirikof (Area 620)
                                                                   Kodiak (Area 630)      Total \2\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A (Jan 20-Mar 10)............................................        3,632      (7.99%)       30,503     (67.11%)       11,316     (24.90%)       45,452
B (Mar 10-May 31)............................................        3,632      (7.99%)       37,820     (83.21%)        4,000      (8.80%)       45,452
C (Aug 25-Oct 1).............................................       12,185     (26.81%)       14,628     (32.18%)       18,639     (41.01%)       45,452
D (Oct 1-Nov 1)..............................................       12,185     (26.81%)       14,628     (32.18%)       18,639     (41.01%)       45,452
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Annual Total.............................................       31,634  ...........       97,579  ...........       52,594  ...........      181,806
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ As established by Sec.   679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), the A, B, C, and D season allowances are available from January 20 to March 10, March 10 to
  May 31, August 25 to October 1, and October 1 to November 1, respectively. The amounts of pollock for processing by the inshore and offshore
  components are not shown in this table.
\2\ The WYK and SEO District pollock TACs are not allocated by season and are not included in the total pollock TACs shown in this table.


 Table 4--Final 2016 Distribution of Pollock in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the GOA; Seasonal Biomass Distribution, Area Apportionments;
                                                          and Seasonal Allowances of Annual TAC
                             [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages are rounded to the nearest 0.01]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Season \1\                              Shumagin (Area 610)
                                                                  Chirikof (Area 620)
                                                                   Kodiak (Area 630)      Total \2\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A (Jan 20-Mar 10)............................................        4,760      (7.99%)       39,992     (67.11%)       14,839     (24.90%)       59,592
B (Mar 10-May 31)............................................        4,760      (7.99%)       49,586     (83.21%)        5,245      (8.80%)       59,592
C (Aug 25-Oct 1).............................................       15,975     (26.81%)       19,179     (32.18%)       24,437     (41.01%)       59,592
D (Oct 1-Nov 1)..............................................       15,975     (26.81%)       19,179     (32.18%)       24,437     (41.01%)       59,592
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Annual Total.............................................       41,472  ...........      127,936  ...........       68,958  ...........      238,366
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ As established by Sec.   679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), the A, B, C, and D season allowances are available from January 20 to March 10, March 10 to
  May 31, August 25 to October 1, and October 1 to November 1, respectively. The amounts of pollock for processing by the inshore and offshore
  components are not shown in this table.
\2\ The WYK and SEO District pollock TACs are not allocated by season and are not included in the total pollock TACs shown in this table.

Annual and Seasonal Apportionments of Pacific Cod TAC

    Section 679.20(a)(12)(i) requires the allocation of the Pacific cod 
TACs in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA among gear 
and operational sectors. Section 679.20(a)(6)(ii) requires the 
allocation of the Pacific cod TACs in the Eastern Regulatory Area of 
the GOA between the inshore and offshore components. NMFS allocates the 
2015 and 2016 Pacific cod TAC based on these sector allocations 
annually between the inshore and offshore components in the Eastern 
GOA; seasonally between vessels using jig gear, catcher vessels (CVs) 
using hook-and-line gear, catcher/processors (C/Ps) using hook-and-line 
gear, CVs using trawl gear, and vessels using pot gear in the Western 
GOA; seasonally between vessels using jig gear, CVs less than 50 feet 
in length overall using hook-and-line gear, CVs equal to or greater 
than 50 feet in length overall using hook-and-line gear, C/Ps using 
hook-and-line gear, CVs using trawl gear, C/Ps using trawl gear, and 
vessels using pot gear in the Central GOA. The overall seasonal 
apportionments in the Western and Central GOA are 60 percent of the 
annual TAC to the A season and 40 percent of the annual TAC to the B 
season.
    Under Sec.  679.20(a)(12)(ii), any overage or underage of the 
Pacific cod allowance from the A season will be subtracted from, or 
added to, the subsequent B season allowance. In addition, any portion 
of the hook-and-line, trawl, pot, or jig sector allocations that NMFS 
determines is likely to go unharvested by a sector may be reapportioned 
to other sectors for harvest during the remainder of the fishery year.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(12)(i)(A) and (B), a portion of the 
annual Pacific cod TACs in the Western and Central GOA will be 
allocated to vessels with an FFP that use jig gear before TAC is 
apportioned among other non-jig sectors. In accordance with the FMP, 
the annual jig sector allocations may increase to up to 6 percent of 
the annual Western and Central GOA Pacific cod TACs, depending on the 
annual performance of the jig sector (See Table 1 of Amendment 83 to 
the FMP for a detailed discussion of the jig sector allocation process 
(76 FR 74670, December 1, 2011)). Jig sector allocation increases are 
established for a minimum of 2 years. NMFS has evaluated the 2014 
harvest performance of the jig sector in the Western and Central GOA, 
and is revising the 2015 and 2016 Pacific cod apportionments to this 
sector as follows.
    NMFS allocates the jig sector 3.5 percent of the annual Pacific cod 
TAC in the Western GOA, a 1.0 percent increase from the 2014 jig sector 
allocation. The 2015 and 2016 allocations include a base allocation of 
1.5 percent, an addition of 1.0 percent and an additional 2.0 percent 
because this sector harvested greater than 90 percent of its initial 
2012 and 2014 allocations in the Western GOA. NMFS also allocates the 
jig sector 1.0 percent of the annual Pacific cod TAC in the Central 
GOA, a 1.0 percent decrease from the 2014 jig sector allocation. The 
2015 and 2016 allocations consist of a base allocation of 1.0 percent. 
The Central GOA jig sector harvested greater than 90 percent of its 
initial 2012 allocation in the Central GOA and received an additional 
1.0 percent of the Central GOA Pacific cod TAC in 2013 and 2014. 
However, in both 2013 and 2014, the jig sector harvested less than 90 
percent of the annual Central GOA

[[Page 10259]]

Pacific cod allocation, resulting in the loss of this sector's 
performance-based 1.0 percent increase. Tables 5 and 6 list the 
seasonal apportionments and allocations of the 2015 and 2016 Pacific 
cod TACs.

 Table 5--Final 2015 Seasonal Apportionments and Allocation of Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts in the
GOA; Allocations for the Western GOA and Central GOA Sectors and the Eastern GOA Inshore and Offshore Processing
                                                   Components
 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages to the nearest 0.01. Seasonal allowances may not
                                  total precisely to annual allocation amount]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             A Season                        B Season
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Annual          Sector                          Sector
   Regulatory area and sector       allocation     percentage of     Seasonal      percentage of     Seasonal
                                       (mt)       annual non-jig    allowances    annual non-jig    allowances
                                                        TAC            (mt)             TAC            (mt)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Western GOA:
    Jig (3.5% of TAC)...........             948             N/A             569             N/A             379
    Hook-and-line CV............             366            0.70             183            0.70             183
    Hook-and-line C/P...........           5,176           10.90           2,850            8.90           2,327
    Trawl CV....................          10,039           27.70           7,242           10.70           2,797
    Trawl C/P...................             627            0.90             235            1.50             392
    All Pot CV and Pot C/P......           9,934           19.80           5,176           18.20           4,758
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total...................          27,091           60.00          16,255           40.00          10,837
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Central GOA:
    Jig (1.0% of TAC)...........             460             N/A             276             N/A             184
    Hook-and-line <50 CV........           6,648            9.32           4,241            5.29           2,407
    Hook-and-line >=50 CV.......           3,054            5.61           2,554            1.10             500
    Hook-and-line C/P...........           2,324            4.11           1,870            1.00             454
    Trawl CV \1\................          18,933           21.14           9,623           20.45           9,310
    Trawl C/P...................           1,911            2.00             912            2.19             999
    All Pot CV and Pot C/P......          12,660           17.83           8,118            9.97           4,542
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total...................          45,990           60.00          27,594           40.00          18,396
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eastern GOA.....................  ..............    Inshore (90% of Annual TAC)
                                   Offshore (10% of Annual TAC)
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           2,121               1,909
                                                212
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Trawl vessels participating in Rockfish Program cooperatives receive 3.81 percent of the annual Central GOA
  TAC (see Table 28c to 50 CFR part 679), which is deducted from the Trawl CV B season allowance (see Table 12).


 Table 6--Final 2016 Seasonal Apportionments and Allocation of Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts in the
GOA; Allocations for the Western GOA and Central GOA Sectors and the Eastern GOA Inshore and Offshore Processing
                                                   Components
 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages to the nearest 0.01. Seasonal allowances may not
                                  total precisely to annual allocation amount.]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             A Season                        B Season
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Annual          Sector                          Sector
   Regulatory area and sector       allocation     percentage of     Seasonal      percentage of     Seasonal
                                       (mt)       annual non-jig    allowances    annual non-jig    allowances
                                                        TAC            (mt)             TAC            (mt)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Western GOA:
    Jig (3.5% of TAC)...........             948             N/A             569             N/A             379
    Hook-and-line CV............             366            0.70             183            0.70             183
    Hook-and-line C/P...........           5,176           10.90           2,850            8.90           2,327
    Trawl CV....................          10,039           27.70           7,242           10.70           2,797
    Trawl C/P...................             627            0.90             235            1.50             392
    All Pot CV and Pot C/P......           9,934           19.80           5,176           18.20           4,758
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total...................          27,091           60.00          16,255           40.00          10,837
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Central GOA:
    Jig (1.0% of TAC)...........             460             N/A             276             N/A             184
    Hook-and-line <50 CV........           6,648            9.32           4,241            5.29           2,407
    Hook-and-line >=50 CV.......           3,054            5.61           2,554            1.10             500
    Hook-and-line C/P...........           2,324            4.11           1,870            1.00             454
    Trawl CV \1\................          18,933           21.14           9,623           20.45           9,310
    Trawl C/P...................           1,911            2.00             912            2.19             999
    All Pot CV and Pot C/P......          12,660           17.83           8,118            9.97           4,542
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 10260]]

 
        Total...................          45,990           60.00          27,594           40.00          18,396
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eastern GOA.....................  ..............    Inshore (90% of Annual TAC)
                                   Offshore (10% of Annual TAC)
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           2,121               1,909
                                                212
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Trawl vessels participating in Rockfish Program cooperatives receive 3.81 percent of the annual Central GOA
  TAC (see Table 28c to 50 CFR part 679), which is deducted from the Trawl CV B season allowance (see Table 13).

Allocations of the Sablefish TACs

    Section 679.20(a)(4)(i) and (ii) require allocations of sablefish 
TACs for each of the regulatory areas and districts to hook-and-line 
and trawl gear. In the Western and Central Regulatory Areas, 80 percent 
of each TAC is allocated to hook-and-line gear, and 20 percent of each 
TAC is allocated to trawl gear. In the Eastern Regulatory Area, 95 
percent of the TAC is allocated to hook-and-line gear, and 5 percent is 
allocated to trawl gear. The trawl gear allocation in the Eastern 
Regulatory Area may only be used to support incidental catch of 
sablefish in directed fisheries for other target species (Sec.  
679.20(a)(4)(i)).
    In recognition of the prohibition against trawl gear in the SEO 
District of the Eastern Regulatory Area, the Council recommended and 
NMFS approves the allocation of 5 percent of the combined Eastern 
Regulatory Area sablefish TAC to trawl gear in the WYK District, making 
the remainder of the WYK sablefish TAC available to vessels using hook-
and-line gear. NMFS allocates 100 percent of the sablefish TAC in the 
SEO District to vessels using hook-and-line gear. This action results 
in a 2015 allocation of 220 mt to trawl gear and 1,489 mt to hook-and-
line gear in the WYK District, a 2015 allocation of 2,682 mt to hook-
and-line gear in the SEO District, and a 2016 allocation of 199 mt to 
trawl gear in the WYK District. Table 7 lists the allocations of the 
2015 sablefish TACs to hook-and-line and trawl gear. Table 8 lists the 
allocations of the 2016 sablefish TACs to trawl gear.
    The Council recommended that the hook-and-line sablefish TAC be 
established annually to ensure that this Individual Fishery Quota (IFQ) 
fishery is conducted concurrently with the halibut IFQ fishery and is 
based on recent sablefish survey information. The Council also 
recommended that only a trawl sablefish TAC be established for two 
years so that retention of incidental catch of sablefish by trawl gear 
could commence in January in the second year of the groundfish harvest 
specifications. Since there is an annual assessment for sablefish and 
the final harvest specifications are expected to be published before 
the IFQ season begins March 14, 2015, the Council recommended that the 
hook-and-line sablefish TAC be set on an annual basis, rather than for 
two years, so that the best scientific information available could be 
considered in establishing the sablefish ABCs and TACs. With the 
exception of the trawl allocations that were provided to the Rockfish 
Program cooperatives, directed fishing for sablefish with trawl gear is 
closed during the fishing year. Also, fishing for groundfish with trawl 
gear is prohibited prior to January 20. Therefore, it is not likely 
that the sablefish allocation to trawl gear would be reached before the 
effective date of the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications.

   Table 7--Final 2015 Sablefish TAC Specifications in the GOA and Allocations to Hook-and-Line and Trawl Gear
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Hook-and-line       Trawl
                          Area/district                                 TAC         allocation      allocation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Western.........................................................           1,474           1,179             295
Central.........................................................           4,658           3,726             932
West Yakutat \1\................................................           1,708           1,489             220
Southeast Outside...............................................           2,682           2,682               0
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................          10,522           9,076           1,446
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The trawl allocation is based on allocating 5 percent of the combined Eastern Regulatory Area (West Yakutat
  and Southeast Outside combined) sablefish TAC to trawl gear in the West Yakutat District.


[[Page 10261]]


          Table 8--Final 2016 Sablefish TAC Specifications in the GOA and Allocation to Trawl Gear \1\
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Hook-and-line       Trawl
                          Area/district                                 TAC         allocation      allocation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Western.........................................................           1,338             n/a             268
Central.........................................................           4,232             n/a             846
West Yakutat \2\................................................           1,552             n/a             199
Southeast Outside...............................................           2,436             n/a               0
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................           9,558             n/a           1,313
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Council recommended that harvest specifications for the hook-and-line gear sablefish Individual Fishing
  Quota fisheries be limited to 1 year.
\2\ The trawl allocation is based on allocating 5 percent of the combined Eastern Regulatory Area (West Yakutat
  and Southeast Outside combined) sablefish TAC to trawl gear in the West Yakutat District.

Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR)

    The recommended 2015 and 2016 DSR TAC is 225 mt, and management of 
DSR is delegated to the State. The Alaska Board of Fish has apportioned 
the annual SEO District DSR TACs between the commercial fishery (84 
percent) and the sport fishery (16 percent) after deductions were made 
for anticipated subsistence harvests (7 mt). This results in 2015 and 
2016 allocations of 183 mt to the commercial fishery and 35 mt to the 
sport fishery.
    The State deducts estimates of incidental catch of DSR in the 
commercial halibut fishery and test fishery mortality from the DSR 
commercial fishery allocation. In 2014, this resulted in 32 mt being 
available for the directed commercial DSR fishery apportioned in one 
DSR district. The State estimated that there was not sufficient DSR 
quota available to have orderly fisheries in the three other DSR 
districts. DSR harvest in the halibut fishery is linked to the annual 
halibut catch limits; therefore the State can only estimate potential 
DSR incidental catch because halibut catch limits are established by 
the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). Federally 
permitted CVs using hook-and-line or jig gear fishing for groundfish 
and Pacific halibut in the SEO District of the GOA are required to 
retain all DSR (Sec.  679.20(j)).

Apportionments to the Central GOA Rockfish Program

    These final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for the GOA 
include the various fishery cooperative allocations and sideboard 
limitations established by the Central GOA Rockfish Program. Program 
participants are primarily trawl CVs and trawl C/Ps, with limited 
participation by vessels using longline gear. The Rockfish Program 
assigns quota share and cooperative quota to participants for primary 
and secondary species, allows participants holding a license limitation 
program (LLP) license with rockfish quota share to form a rockfish 
cooperative, and allows holders of C/P LLP licenses to opt out of the 
fishery. The Rockfish Program also has an entry level fishery for 
rockfish primary species for vessels using longline gear.
    Under the Rockfish Program, rockfish primary species (Pacific ocean 
perch, northern rockfish, and dusky rockfish) in the Central GOA are 
allocated to participants after deducting for incidental catch needs in 
other directed groundfish fisheries. Participants in the Rockfish 
Program also receive a portion of the Central GOA TAC of specific 
secondary species (Pacific cod, rougheye rockfish, sablefish, 
shortraker rockfish, and thornyhead rockfish).
    Additionally, the Rockfish Program establishes sideboard limits to 
restrict the ability of harvesters operating under the Rockfish Program 
to increase their participation in other, non-Rockfish Program 
fisheries. Besides groundfish species, the Rockfish Program allocates a 
portion of the trawl halibut PSC limit (191 mt) from the third season 
deep-water species fishery allowance for the GOA trawl fisheries to 
Rockfish Program participants (Sec.  679.81(d)), which includes 117 mt 
to the trawl CV sector and 74 mt to the trawl C/P sector.
    Section 679.81(a)(2)(ii) requires allocations of 5 mt of Pacific 
ocean perch, 5 mt of northern rockfish, and 30 mt of dusky rockfish to 
the entry level longline fishery in 2015 and 2016. The allocation for 
the entry level longline fishery would increase incrementally each year 
if the catch exceeds 90 percent of the allocation of a species. The 
incremental increase in the allocation would continue each year until 
it is the maximum percent of the TAC for that species. In 2014, the 
catch did not exceed 90 percent of any allocated rockfish species. 
Therefore, NMFS is not increasing the entry level longline fishery 2015 
and 2016 allocations in the Central GOA. Longline gear includes hook-
and-line, jig, troll, and handline gear. The remainder of the TACs for 
the rockfish primary species would be allocated to the CV and C/P 
cooperatives. Table 9 lists the allocations of the 2015 and initial 
2016 TACs for each rockfish primary species to the entry level longline 
fishery, the incremental increase for future years, and the maximum 
percent of the TAC for the entry level longline fishery.

Table 9--Final 2015 and Initial 2016 Allocations of Rockfish Primary Species to the Entry Level Longline Fishery
                                          in the Central Gulf of Alaska
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        Incremental increase in
        Rockfish primary species           2015 and 2016 allocations     2016 if >=90% of 2015     Up to maximum
                                                                        allocation is harvested      % of TAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch.....................  5 metric tons.............  5 metric tons.............               1
Northern rockfish.......................  5 metric tons.............  5 metric tons.............               2
Dusky rockfish..........................  30 metric tons............  20 metric tons............               5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 10262]]

    Section 679.81(a)(2) requires allocations of the rockfish primary 
species among various sectors of the Rockfish Program. Tables 10 and 11 
list the final 2015 and 2016 allocations of rockfish primary species in 
the Central GOA to the entry level longline fishery and Rockfish CV and 
C/P Cooperatives in the Rockfish Program. NMFS also is setting aside 
incidental catch amounts (ICAs) for other directed fisheries in the 
Central GOA of 2,000 mt of Pacific ocean perch, 200 mt of northern 
rockfish, and 250 mt of dusky rockfish. These amounts are based on 
recent average incidental catches in the Central GOA by other 
groundfish fisheries.
    Allocations between vessels belonging to CV or C/P cooperatives are 
not included in these final harvest specifications. Rockfish Program 
applications for CV cooperatives and C/P cooperatives are not due to 
NMFS until March 1 of each calendar year, therefore, NMFS cannot 
calculate 2015 and 2016 allocations in conjunction with these final 
harvest specifications. NMFS will post these allocations on the Alaska 
Region Web site at (http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/rockfish/) when they become available after March 
1.

  Table 10--Final 2015 Allocations of Rockfish Primary Species in the Central Gulf of Alaska to the Entry Level
                       Longline Fishery and Rockfish Cooperatives in the Rockfish Program
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Allocation to   Allocation to
                                                    Incidental                       the entry     the Rockfish
    Rockfish primary species            TAC            catch       TAC minus ICA  level longline   Cooperatives
                                                     allowance                      \1\ fishery         \2\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch.............          15,873           2,000          13,873               5          13,868
Northern rockfish...............           3,772             200           3,572               5           3,567
Dusky rockfish..................           3,336             250           3,086              30           3,056
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................          22,981           2,450          20,531              40          20,491
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Longline gear includes hook-and-line, jig, troll, and handline gear.
\2\ Rockfish Cooperatives include vessels in CV and C/P cooperatives.


  Table 11--Final 2016 Allocations of Rockfish Primary Species in the Central Gulf of Alaska to the Entry Level
                       Longline Fishery and Rockfish Cooperatives in the Rockfish Program
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Allocation to   Allocation to
                                                    Incidental                       the entry     the Rockfish
    Rockfish primary species            TAC            catch       TAC minus ICA  level longline   Cooperatives
                                                     allowance                      \1\ fishery         \2\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch.............          16,184           2,000          14,184               5          14,179
Northern rockfish...............           3,563             200           3,363               5           3,358
Dusky rockfish..................           3,077             250           2,827              30           2,797
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................          22,824           2,450          20,374              40          20,334
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Longline gear includes hook-and-line, jig, troll, and handline gear.
\2\ Rockfish Cooperatives include vessels in CV and C/P cooperatives.

    Section 679.81(c) requires allocations of rockfish secondary 
species to CV and C/P cooperatives in the Central GOA. CV cooperatives 
receive allocations of Pacific cod, sablefish from the trawl gear 
allocation, and thornyhead rockfish. C/P cooperatives receive 
allocations of sablefish from the trawl allocation, rougheye rockfish, 
shortraker rockfish, and thornyhead rockfish. Tables 12 and 13 list the 
apportionments of the 2015 and 2016 TACs of rockfish secondary species 
in the Central GOA to CV and C/P cooperatives.

   Table 12--Final 2015 Apportionments of Rockfish Secondary Species in the Central GOA to Catcher Vessel and
                                         Catcher/Processor Cooperatives
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Catcher vessel cooperatives   Catcher/processor cooperatives
                                  Annual central ---------------------------------------------------------------
   Rockfish secondary species         GOA TAC      Percentage of   Apportionment   Percentage of   Apportionment
                                                        TAC            (mt)             TAC            (mt)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod.....................          45,990            3.81           1,752            0.00  ..............
Sablefish.......................           4,658            6.78             316            3.51             163
Shortraker rockfish.............             397            0.00  ..............           40.00             159
Rougheye rockfish...............             632            0.00  ..............           58.87             372
Thornyhead rockfish.............             875            7.84              69           26.50             232
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 10263]]


   Table 13--Final 2016 Apportionments of Rockfish Secondary Species in the Central GOA to Catcher Vessel and
                                          Cather/Processor Cooperatives
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Catcher vessel cooperatives   Catcher/processor cooperatives
                                  Annual central ---------------------------------------------------------------
   Rockfish secondary species         GOA TAC      Percentage of   Apportionment   Percentage of   Apportionment
                                                        TAC            (mt)             TAC            (mt)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod.....................          45,990            3.81           1,752            0.00  ..............
Sablefish.......................           4,232            6.78             287            3.51             149
Shortraker rockfish.............             397            0.00  ..............           40.00             159
Rougheye rockfish...............             643            0.00  ..............           58.87             379
Thornyhead rockfish.............             875            7.84              69           26.50             232
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Halibut PSC Limits

    Section 679.21(d) establishes the annual halibut PSC limit 
apportionments to trawl and hook-and-line gear, and authorizes the 
establishment of apportionments for pot gear. Amendment 95 to the FMP 
(79 FR 9625, February 20, 2014) implemented measures establishing GOA 
halibut PSC limits in Federal regulations and reducing the halibut PSC 
limits in the GOA trawl and hook-and-line groundfish fisheries. These 
reductions are incorporated into the final 2015 and 2016 halibut PSC 
limits. For most gear and operational types, the halibut PSC limit 
reductions are phased-in over 3 years, beginning in 2014 and ending in 
2016.
    In December 2014, the Council incorporated these reductions into 
its recommended final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications. The Council 
recommended 2015 halibut PSC limits of 1,759 mt for trawl gear, 261 mt 
for hook-and-line gear, and 9 mt for the DSR fishery. The Council also 
recommended 2016 halibut PSC limits of 1,706 mt for the trawl sector, 
256 mt for the hook-and-line sector, and 9 mt for the DSR fishery.
    The DSR fishery in the SEO District is defined at Sec.  
679.21(d)(2)(ii)(A). This fishery is apportioned 9 mt of the halibut 
PSC limit in recognition of its small-scale harvests of groundfish. 
NMFS estimates low halibut bycatch in the DSR fishery because 1) the 
duration of the DSR fisheries and the gear soak times are short, 2) the 
DSR fishery occurs in the winter when less overlap occurs in the 
distribution of DSR and halibut, and 3) the directed commercial DSR 
fishery has a low DSR TAC.
    The FMP authorizes the Council to exempt specific gear from the 
halibut PSC limits. NMFS, after consultation with the Council, exempts 
pot gear, jig gear, and the sablefish IFQ hook-and-line gear fishery 
categories from the non-trawl halibut PSC limit for 2015 and 2016. The 
Council recommended, and NMFS approves, these exemptions because 1) the 
pot gear fisheries have low annual halibut bycatch mortality; 2) IFQ 
program regulations prohibit discard of halibut if any halibut IFQ 
permit holder on board a catcher vessel holds unused halibut IFQ (Sec.  
679.7(f)(11)); 3) sablefish IFQ fishermen typically hold halibut IFQ 
permits and are therefore required to retain the halibut they catch 
while fishing sablefish IFQ; and 4) NMFS estimates negligible halibut 
mortality for the jig gear fisheries. NMFS estimates that halibut 
mortality is negligible in the jig gear fisheries given the small 
amount of groundfish harvested by jig gear, the selective nature of jig 
gear, and the high survival rates of halibut caught and released with 
jig gear.
    The best available information on estimated halibut bycatch 
consists of data collected by fisheries observers during 2014. The 
calculated halibut bycatch mortality through December 20, 2014, is 
1,394 mt for trawl gear and 199 mt for hook-and-line gear for a total 
halibut mortality of 1,593 mt. This halibut mortality was calculated 
using groundfish and halibut catch data from the NMFS Alaska Region's 
catch accounting system. This accounting system contains historical and 
recent catch information compiled from each Alaska groundfish fishery.
    Section 679.21(d)(4)(i) and (ii) authorizes NMFS to seasonally 
apportion the halibut PSC limits after consultation with the Council. 
The FMP and regulations require the Council and NMFS to consider the 
following information in seasonally apportioning halibut PSC limits: 1) 
Seasonal distribution of halibut; 2) seasonal distribution of target 
groundfish species relative to halibut distribution; 3) expected 
halibut bycatch needs on a seasonal basis relative to changes in 
halibut biomass and expected catch of target groundfish species; 4) 
expected bycatch rates on a seasonal basis; 5) expected changes in 
directed groundfish fishing seasons; 6) expected actual start of 
fishing effort; and 7) economic effects of establishing seasonal 
halibut allocations on segments of the target groundfish industry. The 
Council considered information from the 2014 SAFE report, NMFS catch 
data, State of Alaska catch data, IPHC stock assessment and mortality 
data, and public testimony when apportioning the halibut PSC limits. 
NMFS concurs with the Council's recommendations listed in Tables 14 and 
15, which respectively shows the final 2015 and 2016 Pacific halibut 
PSC limits, allowances, and apportionments.
    Sections 679.21(d)(4)(iii) and (iv) specify that any underages or 
overages of a seasonal apportionment of a PSC limit will be deducted 
from or added to the next respective seasonal apportionment within the 
fishing year.

                                     Table 14--Final 2015 Pacific Halibut PSC Limits, Allowances, and Apportionments
                                                               [Values are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Trawl gear                                                             Hook-and-line gear \1\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  Other than DSR                                    DSR
                 Season                    Percent     Amount  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                           Season             Percent     Amount             Season              Amount
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 20-April 1......................       27.5        484  January 1-June 10..........         86        225  January 1-December 31.....          9

[[Page 10264]]

 
April 1-July 1..........................         20        352  June 10-September 1........          2          5  ..........................  .........
July 1-September 1......................         30        528  September 1-December 31....         12         31  ..........................  .........
September 1-October 1...................        7.5        132  ...........................  .........  .........  ..........................  .........
October 1-December 31...................         15        264  ...........................  .........  .........  ..........................  .........
                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...............................  .........      1,759  ...........................  .........        261  ..........................          9
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limit for hook-and-line gear is allocated to the demersal shelf rockfish (DSR) fishery and
  fisheries other than DSR. The hook-and-line sablefish fishery is exempt from halibut PSC limits, as are pot and jig gear for all groundfish fisheries.
  Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


                                     Table 15--Final 2016 Pacific Halibut PSC Limits, Allowances, and Apportionments
                                                               [Values are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Trawl gear                                                             Hook-and-line gear \1\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  Other than DSR                                    DSR
                 Season                    Percent     Amount  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                           Season             Percent     Amount             Season              Amount
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 20-April 1......................       27.5        469  January 1-June 10..........         86        220  January 1-December 31.....          9
April 1-July 1..........................         20        341  June 10-September 1........          2          5  ..........................  .........
July 1-September 1......................         30        512  September 1-December 31....         12         31  ..........................  .........
September 1-October 1...................        7.5        128  ...........................  .........  .........  ..........................  .........
October 1-December 31...................         15        256  ...........................  .........  .........  ..........................  .........
                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...............................  .........      1,706  ...........................  .........        256  ..........................          9
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limit for hook-and-line gear is allocated to the demersal shelf rockfish (DSR) fishery and
  fisheries other than DSR. The hook-and-line sablefish fishery is exempt from halibut PSC limits, as are pot and jig gear for all groundfish fisheries.
  Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

    Section 679.21(d)(3)(ii) authorizes further apportionment of the 
trawl halibut PSC limit to trawl fishery categories. The annual 
apportionments are based on each category's proportional share of the 
anticipated halibut bycatch mortality during the fishing year and 
optimization of the total amount of groundfish harvest under the 
halibut PSC limit. The fishery categories for the trawl halibut PSC 
limits are 1) a deep-water species fishery, composed of sablefish, 
rockfish, deep-water flatfish, rex sole, and arrowtooth flounder; and 
2) a shallow-water species fishery, composed of pollock, Pacific cod, 
shallow-water flatfish, flathead sole, Atka mackerel, skates, and 
``other species'' (sculpins, sharks, squids, and octopuses) (Sec.  
679.21(d)(3)(iii)). Tables 16 and 17 list, respectively, the final 2015 
and 2016 apportionments of halibut PSC trawl limits between the trawl 
gear deep-water and the shallow-water species fishery categories.
    Table 28d to 50 CFR part 679 specifies the amount of the trawl 
halibut PSC limit that is assigned to the CV and C/P sectors that are 
participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program. This includes 117 mt 
of halibut PSC limit to the CV sector and 74 mt of halibut PSC limit to 
the C/P sector. These amounts are allocated from the trawl deep-water 
species fishery's halibut PSC third seasonal apportionment.
    Section 679.21(d)(4)(iii)(B) limits the amount of the halibut PSC 
limit allocated to Rockfish Program participants that could be re-
apportioned to the general GOA trawl fisheries to no more than 55 
percent of the unused annual halibut PSC apportioned to Rockfish 
Program participants. The remainder of the unused Rockfish Program 
halibut PSC limit is unavailable for use by vessels directed fishing 
with trawl gear for the remainder of the fishing year.

Table 16--Final 2015 Apportionment of Pacific Halibut PSC Trawl Limits Between the Trawl Gear Deep-Water Species
                            Fishery and the Shallow-Water Species Fishery Categories
                                           [Values are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Season                       Shallow-water           Deep-water \1\                Total
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 20-April 1............................             396  88..............................             484
April 1-July 1................................              88  264.............................             352
July 1-September 1............................             176  352.............................             528
September 1-October 1.........................             132  Any remainder...................             132
Subtotal January 20-October 1.................             792  704.............................           1,496

[[Page 10265]]

 
October 1-December 31 \2\.....................  ..............  ................................             264
                                               -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.....................................  ..............  ................................           1,760
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Vessels participating in cooperatives in the Central GOA Rockfish Program will receive 191 mt of the third
  season (July 1 through September 1) deep-water species fishery halibut PSC apportionment.
\2\ There is no apportionment between trawl shallow-water and deep-water species fishery categories during the
  fifth season (October 1 through December 31).


Table 17--Final 2016 Apportionment of Pacific Halibut PSC Trawl Limits Between the Trawl Gear Deep-Water Species
                            Fishery and the Shallow-Water Species Fishery Categories
                                           [Values are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Season                       Shallow-water           Deep-water \1\                Total
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 20-April 1............................             384  85..............................             469
April 1-July 1................................              85  256.............................             341
July 1-September 1............................             171  341.............................             512
September 1-October 1.........................             128  Any remainder...................             128
Subtotal January 20-October 1.................             768  682.............................           1,450
October 1-December 31 \2\.....................  ..............  ................................             256
                                               -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.....................................  ..............  ................................           1,706
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Vessels participating in cooperatives in the Central GOA Rockfish Program will receive 191 mt of the third
  season (July 1 through September 1) deep-water species fishery halibut PSC apportionment.
\2\ There is no apportionment between trawl shallow-water and deep-water species fishery categories during the
  fifth season (October 1 through December 31).

    Section 679.21(d)(2)(B) requires that the ``other hook-and-line 
fishery'' halibut PSC limit apportionment to vessels using hook-and-
line gear must be apportioned between CVs and C/Ps in accordance with 
Sec.  679.21(d)(2)(iii) in conjunction with these harvest 
specifications. A comprehensive description and example of the 
calculations necessary to apportion the ``other hook-and-line fishery'' 
halibut PSC limit between the hook-and-line CV and C/P sectors were 
included in the proposed rule to implement Amendment 83 (76 FR 44700, 
July 26, 2011) and are not repeated here.
    For 2015, NMFS apportions halibut PSC limits of 145 mt and 116 mt 
to the hook-and-line CV and hook-and-line C/P sectors, respectively. 
For 2016, NMFS apportions halibut PSC limits of 140 mt and 116 mt to 
the hook-and-line CV and hook-and-line C/P sectors, respectively. 
Tables 18 and 19 list, respectively, the final 2015 and 2016 
apportionments of halibut PSC limits between the hook-and-line CV and 
hook-and-line C/P sectors.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.21(d)(2)(iii), the hook-and-line halibut PSC 
limit is apportioned between the CV and C/P sectors in proportion to 
the total Western and Central GOA Pacific cod allocations, which vary 
annually based on the proportion of the Pacific cod biomass. Pacific 
cod is apportioned among these two management areas based on the 
percentage of overall biomass per area, as calculated in the 2014 
Pacific cod stock assessment. Updated information in the final 2014 
SAFE report describes this distributional change, which is based on 
allocating ABC among regulatory areas on the basis of the three most 
recent stock surveys. The distribution of the total GOA Pacific cod ABC 
has changed to 36 percent Western GOA, 61 percent Central GOA, and 3 
percent Eastern GOA. Therefore, the calculations made in accordance 
with Sec.  679.21(d)(2)(iii) incorporate the most recent change in GOA 
Pacific cod distribution with respect to establishing the annual 
halibut PSC limits for the CV and C/P hook-and-line sectors. The annual 
halibut PSC limits are divided into three seasonal apportionments, 
using seasonal percentages of 86 percent, 2 percent, and 12 percent.
    No later than November 1 of each year, NMFS will calculate the 
projected unused amount of halibut PSC limit by either of the hook-and-
line sectors for the remainder of the year. The projected unused amount 
of halibut PSC limit is made available to the other hook-and-line 
sector for the remainder of that fishing year if NMFS determines that 
an additional amount of halibut PSC is necessary for that sector to 
continue its directed fishing operations (Sec.  679.21(d)(2)(iii)(C)).

    Table 18--Final 2015 Apportionments of the ``Other Hook-and-Line Fisheries'' Annual Halibut PSC Allowance
                   Between the Hook-and-Line Gear Catcher Vessel and Catcher/Processor Sectors
                                           [Values are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                      Sector
  ``Other than DSR''       Hook-and-line      Sector annual         Season           Seasonal        seasonal
       allowance               sector            amount                             percentage        amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
261...................  Catcher Vessel.....             145  January 1-June 10..              86             125
                        ...................  ..............  June 10-September 1               2               3

[[Page 10266]]

 
                        ...................  ..............  September 1-                     12              17
                                                              December 31.
                        Catcher/Processor..             116  January 1-June 10..              86             100
                        ...................  ..............  June 10-September 1               2               2
                        ...................  ..............  September 1-                     12              14
                                                              December 31.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Table 19--Final 2016 Apportionments of the ``Other Hook-and-Line Fisheries'' Annual Halibut PSC Allowance
                   Between the Hook-and-Line Gear Catcher Vessel and Catcher/Processor Sectors
                                           [Values are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                      Sector
  ``Other than DSR''       Hook-and-line      Sector annual         Season           Seasonal        seasonal
       allowance               sector            amount                             percentage        amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
256...................  Catcher Vessel.....             140  January 1-June 10..              86             120
                        ...................  ..............  June 10-September 1               2               3
                        ...................  ..............  September 1-                     12              17
                                                              December 31.
                        Catcher/Processor..             116  January 1-June 10..              86             100
                        ...................  ..............  June 10-September 1               2               2
                        ...................  ..............  September 1-                     12              14
                                                              December 31.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Estimates of Halibut Biomass and Stock Condition

    The IPHC annually assesses the abundance and potential yield of the 
Pacific halibut using all available data from the commercial and sport 
fisheries, other removals, and scientific surveys. Additional 
information on the Pacific halibut stock assessment may be found in the 
IPHC's 2014 Pacific halibut stock assessment (December 2014), available 
on the IPHC Web site at www.iphc.int. The IPHC considered the 2014 
Pacific halibut stock assessment at its January 2015 annual meeting 
when it set the 2015 commercial halibut fishery catch limits.

Halibut Discard Mortality Rates

    To monitor halibut bycatch mortality allowances and apportionments, 
the Regional Administrator uses observed halibut incidental catch 
rates, discard mortality 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 is implementing the Council's recommendation that the halibut 
DMRs developed and recommended by the IPHC for the 2013 through 2015 
GOA groundfish fisheries be used for monitoring the final 2015 and 2016 
halibut bycatch mortality allowances (see Tables 14 through 19). The 
IPHC developed the DMRs for the 2013 through 2015 GOA groundfish 
fisheries using the 10-year mean DMRs for those fisheries. Long-term 
average DMRs were not available for some fisheries, so rates from the 
most recent years were used. For the skate, sculpin, shark, squid, and 
octopus target fisheries, where not enough halibut mortality data are 
available, the mortality rate of halibut caught in the Pacific cod 
fishery for that gear type was recommended as a default rate. The IPHC 
will analyze observer data annually and recommend changes to the DMRs 
when a fishery DMR shows large variation from the mean. A discussion of 
the DMRs and how the IPHC establishes them is available from the 
Council (see ADDRESSES). Table 20 lists the final 2015 and 2016 DMRs. 
These DMRs are unchanged from the proposed 2015 and 2016 harvest 
specifications (79 FR 72593, December 8, 2014).

    Table 20--Final 2015 and 2016 Halibut Discard Mortality Rates for
                  Vessels Fishing in the Gulf of Alaska
           [Values are percent of halibut assumed to be dead]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Mortality rate
              Gear                    Target fishery            (%)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hook-and-line..................  Other fisheries \1\....              11
                                 Skates.................              11
                                 Pacific cod............              11
                                 Rockfish...............               9
Trawl..........................  Arrowtooth flounder....              73
                                 Deep-water flatfish....              43
                                 Flathead sole..........              65
                                 Non-pelagic pollock....              60
                                 Other fisheries \1\....              62
                                 Pacific cod............              62
                                 Pelagic pollock........              71
                                 Rex sole...............              69
                                 Rockfish...............              66

[[Page 10267]]

 
                                 Sablefish..............              71
                                 Shallow-water flatfish.              67
Pot............................  Other fisheries \1\....              17
                                 Pacific cod............              17
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Other fisheries includes all gear types for skates, sculpins,
  sharks, squids, octopuses, and hook-and-line sablefish.

Chinook Salmon Prohibited Species Catch Limits

    In 2012, NMFS issued a final rule to implement Amendment 93 to the 
GOA FMP (77 FR 42629, July 20, 2012). Amendment 93 established separate 
Chinook salmon PSC limits in the Western and Central GOA in the 
directed pollock fishery. These limits require NMFS to close the 
pollock directed fishery in the Western and Central regulatory areas of 
the GOA if the applicable limit is reached (Sec.  679.21(h)(6)). The 
annual Chinook salmon PSC limits in the pollock directed fishery of 
6,684 salmon in the Western GOA and 18,316 salmon in the Central GOA 
are set in regulation at Sec.  679.21(h)(2)(i) and (ii). In addition, 
all salmon (regardless of species) taken in the pollock directed 
fisheries in the Western and Central GOA must be retained until an 
observer at the processing facility that takes delivery of the catch is 
provided an opportunity to count the number of salmon and to collect 
any scientific data or biological samples from the salmon (Sec.  
679.21(h)(4)).
    As described earlier in this preamble, NMFS issued a final rule to 
implement Amendment 97 to the FMP (79 FR 71350, December 2, 2014). That 
action established an initial annual PSC limit of 7,500 Chinook salmon 
for the non-pollock groundfish fisheries. This limit is apportioned 
among three sectors: 3,600 Chinook salmon to trawl catcher/processors, 
1,200 Chinook salmon to trawl catcher vessels participating in the 
Central GOA Rockfish Program, and 2,700 Chinook salmon to trawl catcher 
vessels not participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program that are 
fishing for groundfish species other than pollock (Sec.  679.21(i)(3)). 
NMFS will monitor the Chinook salmon PSC in the non-pollock GOA 
groundfish fisheries and close an applicable sector if it reaches its 
Chinook salmon PSC limit.
    The Chinook salmon PSC limit for two sectors, trawl catcher/
processors and trawl catcher vessels not participating in the Central 
GOA Rockfish Program, may be increased in subsequent years based on the 
performance of these two sectors and their ability to minimize their 
use of their respective Chinook salmon PSC limits. If either or both of 
these two sectors limits its use of Chinook salmon PSC to a certain 
threshold amount in 2015, that sector will receive an incremental 
increase to its 2016 Chinook salmon PSC limit (Sec.  679.21(i)(3)).

American Fisheries Act (AFA) C/P and CV Groundfish Harvest and PSC 
Limits

    Section 679.64 establishes groundfish harvesting and processing 
sideboard limitations on AFA C/Ps and CVs in the GOA. These sideboard 
limits are necessary to protect the interests of fishermen and 
processors who do not directly benefit from the AFA from those 
fishermen and processors who receive exclusive harvesting and 
processing privileges under the AFA. Section 679.7(k)(1)(ii) prohibits 
listed AFA C/Ps from harvesting any species of groundfish in the GOA. 
Additionally, Sec.  679.7(k)(1)(iv) prohibits listed AFA C/Ps from 
processing any pollock harvested in a directed pollock fishery in the 
GOA and any groundfish harvested in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA.
    AFA CVs that are less than 125 ft (38.1 meters) length overall, 
have annual landings of pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
less than 5,100 mt, and have made at least 40 groundfish landings from 
1995 through 1997 are exempt from GOA sideboard limits under Sec.  
679.64(b)(2)(ii). Sideboard limits for non-exempt AFA CVs in the GOA 
are based on their traditional harvest levels of TAC in groundfish 
fisheries covered by the FMP. Section 679.64(b)(3)(iii) establishes the 
groundfish sideboard limitations in the GOA based on the retained catch 
of non-exempt AFA CVs of each sideboard species from 1995 through 1997 
divided by the TAC for that species over the same period.
    Tables 21 and 22 list the final 2015 and 2016 groundfish sideboard 
limits for non-exempt AFA CVs. NMFS will deduct all targeted or 
incidental catch of sideboard species made by non-exempt AFA CVs from 
the sideboard limits listed in Tables 21 and 22.

   Table 21--Final 2015 GOA Non-Exempt American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel (CV) Groundfish Harvest Sideboard
                                                     Limits
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Ratio of 1995-
                                                                     1997 non-                    Final 2015 non-
           Species              Apportionments    Area/component   exempt AFA CV    Final 2015     exempt AFA CV
                                by season/gear                    catch to 1995-       TACs          sideboard
                                                                     1997 TAC                          limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock......................  A Season,         Shumagin (610).          0.6047           3,632           2,196
                                January 20-      Chirikof (620).          0.1167          30,503           3,560
                                March 10.        Kodiak (630)...          0.2028          11,316           2,295
                               B Season, March   Shumagin (610).          0.6047           3,632           2,196
                                10-May 31.       Chirikof (620).          0.1167          37,820           4,414
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.2028           4,000             811

[[Page 10268]]

 
                               C Season, August  Shumagin (610).          0.6047          12,185           7,368
                                25-October 1.    Chirikof (620).          0.1167          14,628           1,707
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.2028          18,639           3,780
                               D Season,         Shumagin (610).          0.6047          12,185           7,368
                                October 1-       Chirikof (620).          0.1167          14,628           1,707
                                November 1.      Kodiak (630)...          0.2028          18,639           3,780
                               Annual..........  WYK (640)......          0.3495           4,719           1,649
                                                 SEO (650)......          0.3495          12,625           4,412
Pacific cod..................  A Season, \1\     W..............          0.1331          16,255           2,164
                                January 1-June   C..............          0.0692          27,594           1,910
                                10.
                               B Season, \2\     W..............          0.1331          10,837           1,442
                                September 1-     C..............          0.0692          18,396           1,273
                                December 31.
                               Annual..........  E inshore......          0.0079           1,909              15
                                                 E offshore.....          0.0078             212               2
Sablefish....................  Annual, trawl     W..............          0.0000             295  ..............
                                gear.            C..............          0.0642             932              60
                                                 E..............          0.0433             220              10
Flatfish, Shallow-water......  Annual..........  W..............          0.0156          13,250             207
                                                 C..............          0.0587          19,297           1,133
                                                 E..............          0.0126           2,834              36
Flatfish, deep-water.........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000             301  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0647           3,689             239
                                                 E..............          0.0128           9,344             120
Rex sole.....................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0007           1,258               1
                                                 C..............          0.0384           5,816             223
                                                 E..............          0.0029           2,076               6
Arrowtooth flounder..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0021          14,500              30
                                                 C..............          0.0280          75,000           2,100
                                                 E..............          0.0002          13,800               3
Flathead sole................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0036           8,650              31
                                                 C..............          0.0213          15,400             328
                                                 E..............          0.0009           3,706               3
Pacific ocean perch..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0023           2,302               5
                                                 C..............          0.0748          15,873           1,187
                                                 E..............          0.0466           2,837             132
Northern rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0003           1,226  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0277           3,772             104
Shortraker rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000              92  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0218             397               9
                                                 E..............          0.0110             834               9
Dusky rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0001             296  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0000           3,336  ..............
                                                 E..............          0.0067           1,477              10
Rougheye rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000             115  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0237             632              15
                                                 E..............          0.0124             375               5
Demersal shelf rockfish......  Annual..........  SEO............          0.0020             225  ..............
Thornyhead rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0280             235               7
                                                 C..............          0.0280             875              25
                                                 E..............          0.0280             731              20
Other rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0034  ..............  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.1699           1,031             175
                                                 E..............          0.0000             780
Atka mackerel................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0309           2,000              62
Big skates...................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0063             731               5
                                                 C..............          0.0063           1,257               8
                                                 E..............          0.0063           1,267               8
Longnose skates..............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0063             152               1
                                                 C..............          0.0063           2,090              13
                                                 E..............          0.0063             976               6
Other skates.................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           2,235              14
Sculpins.....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           5,569              35
Sharks.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           5,989              38
Squids.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           1,148               7

[[Page 10269]]

 
Octopuses....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           1,507               9
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.


   Table 22--Final 2016 GOA Non-Exempt American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel (CV) Groundfish Harvest Sideboard
                                                     Limits
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Ratio of 1995-
                                                                     1997 non-                    Final 2016 non-
           Species              Apportionments    Area/component   exempt AFA CV    Final 2016     exempt AFA CV
                                by season/gear                    catch to 1995-       TACs          sideboard
                                                                     1997 TAC                          limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock......................  A Season,         Shumagin (610).          0.6047           4,760           2,879
                                January 20-
                                March 10.
                                                 Chirikof (620).          0.1167          39,992           4,667
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.2028          14,839           3,009
                               B Season, March   Shumagin (610).          0.6047           4,760           2,879
                                10-May 31.
                                                 Chirikof (620).          0.1167          49,586           5,787
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.2028           5,245           1,064
                               C Season, August  Shumagin (610).          0.6047          15,975           9,660
                                25-October 1.
                                                 Chirikof (620).          0.1167          19,179           2,238
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.2028          24,437           4,956
                               D Season,         Shumagin (610).          0.6047          15,975           9,660
                                October 1-
                                November 1.
                                                 Chirikof (620).          0.1167          19,179           2,238
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.2028          24,437           4,956
                               Annual            WYK (640)......          0.3495           6,187           2,162
                                                 SEO (650)......          0.3495          12,625           4,412
Pacific cod..................  A Season \1\,     W..............          0.1331          16,255           2,164
                                January 1-June
                                10.
                                                 C..............          0.0692          27,594           1,910
                               B Season \2\,     W..............          0.1331          10,837           1,442
                                September 1-
                                December 31.
                                                 C..............          0.0692          18,396           1,273
                               Annual..........  E inshore......          0.0079           1,909              15
                                                 E offshore.....          0.0078             212               2
Sablefish....................  Annual, trawl     W..............          0.0000             268  ..............
                                gear.
                                                 C..............          0.0642             846              54
                                                 E..............          0.0433             199               9
Flatfish, Shallow-water......  Annual..........  W..............          0.0156          13,250             207
                                                 C..............          0.0587          17,114           1,005
                                                 E..............          0.0126           2,513              32
Flatfish, deep-water.........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000             299  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0647           3,645             236
                                                 E..............          0.0128           9,233             118
Rex sole.....................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0007           1,234               1
                                                 C..............          0.0384           5,707             219
                                                 E..............          0.0029           2,038               6
Arrowtooth flounder..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0021          14,500              30
                                                 C..............          0.0280          75,000           2,100
                                                 E..............          0.0002          13,800               3
Flathead sole................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0036           8,650              31
                                                 C..............          0.0213          15,400             328
                                                 E..............          0.0009           3,709               3
Pacific ocean perch..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0023           2,358               5
                                                 C..............          0.0748          16,184           1,211
                                                 E..............          0.0466           2,894             135
Northern rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0003           1,158  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0277           3,563              99
Shortraker rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000              92  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0218             397               9
                                                 E..............          0.0110             834               9
Dusky rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0001             273  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0000           3,077  ..............
                                                 E..............          0.0067           1,361               9

[[Page 10270]]

 
Rougheye rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000             117  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0237             643              15
                                                 E..............          0.0124             382               5
Demersal shelf rockfish......  Annual..........  SEO............          0.0020             225  ..............
Thornyhead rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0280             235               7
                                                 C..............          0.0280             875              25
                                                 E..............          0.0280             731              20
Other rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0034  ..............  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.1699           1,031             175
                                                 E..............          0.0000             780               -
Atka mackerel................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0309           2,000              62
Big skates...................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0063             731               5
                                                 C..............          0.0063           1,257               8
                                                 E..............          0.0063           1,267               8
Longnose skates..............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0063             152               1
                                                 C..............          0.0063           2,090              13
                                                 E..............          0.0063             976               6
Other skates.................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           2,235              14
Sculpins.....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           5,569              35
Sharks.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           5,989              38
Squids.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           1,148               7
Octopuses....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           1,507               9
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.

Non-Exempt AFA Catcher Vessel Halibut PSC Limits

    The halibut PSC sideboard limits for non-exempt AFA CVs in the GOA 
are based on the aggregate retained groundfish catch by non-exempt AFA 
CVs in each PSC target category from 1995 through 1997 divided by the 
retained catch of all vessels in that fishery from 1995 through 1997 
(Sec.  679.64(b)(4)). Tables 23 and 24 list the final 2015 and 2016 
non-exempt AFA CV halibut PSC limits for vessels using trawl gear in 
the GOA, respectively. The 2015 and 2016 seasonal apportionments of 
trawl halibut PSC limits between the deep-water and shallow-water 
species fisheries categories proportionately incorporate reductions 
made to the annual trawl halibut PSC limits and associated seasonal 
apportionments (see Tables 14 and 15).

  Table 23--Final 2015 Non-Exempt AFA CV Halibut Prohibited Species Catch (PSC) Limits for Vessels Using Trawl
                                                 Gear in the GOA
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Ratio of 1995-
                                                                 1997 non-exempt
                                                                 AFA CV retained                     2015 non-
            Season               Season dates    Target fishery   catch to total  2015 PSC limit   exempt AFA CV
                                                                  retained catch                     PSC limit
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1............................  January 20-      shallow-water..  0.340..........             396             135
                                April 1.
                                                deep-water.....  0.070..........              88               6
2............................  April 1-July 1.  shallow-water..  0.340..........              88              30
                                                deep-water.....  0.070..........             264              18
3............................  July 1-          shallow-water..  0.340..........             176              60
                                September 1.
                                                deep-water.....  0.070..........             352              25
4............................  September 1-     shallow-water..  0.340..........             132              45
                                October 1.
                                                deep-water.....  0.070..........               0               0
5............................  October 1-       all targets....  0.205..........             264              54
                                December 31.
                                                                                 -------------------------------
    Total....................  ...............  ...............  ...............           1,760             373
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 10271]]


  Table 24--Final 2016 Non-Exempt AFA CV Halibut Prohibited Species Catch (PSC) Limits for Vessels Using Trawl
                                                 Gear in the GOA
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Ratio of 1995-
                                                                 1997 non-exempt
                                                                 AFA CV retained                     2016 non-
            Season               Season dates    Target fishery   catch to total  2016 PSC limit   exempt AFA CV
                                                                  retained catch                     PSC limit
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1............................  January 20-      shallow-water..  0.340..........             384             131
                                April 1.
                                                deep-water.....  0.070..........              85               6
2............................  April 1-July 1.  shallow-water..  0.340..........              85              29
                                                deep-water.....  0.070..........             256              18
3............................  July 1-          shallow-water..  0.340..........             171              58
                                September 1.
                                                deep-water.....  0.070..........             341              24
4............................  September 1-     shallow-water..  0.340..........             128              44
                                October 1.
                                                deep-water.....  0.070..........               0               0
5............................  October 1-       all targets....  0.205..........             256              52
                                December 31.
                                                                                 -------------------------------
    Total....................  ...............  ...............  ...............           1,706             361
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Non-AFA Crab Vessel Groundfish Harvest Limitations

    Section 680.22 establishes groundfish catch limits for vessels with 
a history of participation in the Bering Sea snow crab fishery to 
prevent these vessels from using the increased flexibility provided by 
the Crab Rationalization Program to expand their level of participation 
in the GOA groundfish fisheries. Sideboard limits restrict these 
vessels' catch to their collective historical landings in each GOA 
groundfish fishery (except the fixed-gear sablefish fishery). Sideboard 
limits also apply to catch made using an LLP license derived from the 
history of a restricted vessel, even if that LLP license is used on 
another vessel.
    The basis for these sideboard limits is described in detail in the 
final rules implementing the major provisions of Amendments 18 and 19 
to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and 
Tanner Crabs (70 FR 10174, March 2, 2005), Amendment 34 to the Fishery 
Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Island King and Tanner Crabs 
(76 FR 35772, June 20, 2011), and Amendment 83 to the GOA FMP (76 FR 
74670, December 1, 2011).
    Tables 25 and 26 list the final 2015 and 2016 groundfish sideboard 
limitations for non-AFA crab vessels. All targeted or incidental catch 
of sideboard species made by non-AFA crab vessels or associated LLP 
licenses will be deducted from these sideboard limits.

       Table 25--Final 2015 GOA Non-American Fisheries Act Crab Vessel Groundfish Harvest Sideboard Limits
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Ratio of 1996-
                                                                   2000 non-AFA                   Final 2015 non-
                                                 Area/component/    crab vessel     Final 2015       AFA crab
           Species                Season/gear          gear       catch to 1996-       TACs           vessel
                                                                    2000 total                       sideboard
                                                                      harvest                          limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock......................  A Season,         Shumagin (610).          0.0098           3,632              36
                                January 20-
                                March 10.
                                                 Chirikof (620).          0.0031          30,503              95
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002          11,316               2
                               B Season, March   Shumagin (610).          0.0098           3,632              36
                                10-May 31.
                                                 Chirikof (620).          0.0031          37,820             117
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002           4,000               1
                               C Season, August  Shumagin (610).          0.0098          12,185             119
                                25-October 1.
                                                 Chirikof (620).          0.0031          14,628              45
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002          18,639               4
                               D Season,         Shumagin (610).          0.0098          12,185             119
                                October 1-
                                November 1.
                                                 Chirikof (620).          0.0031          14,628              45
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002          18,639               4
                               Annual..........  WYK (640)......          0.0000           4,719  ..............
                                                 SEO (650)......          0.0000          12,625  ..............
Pacific cod..................  A Season \1\,     W Jig..........          0.0000          16,255  ..............
                                January 1-June
                                10.
                                                 W Hook-and-line          0.0004          16,255               7
                                                  CV.
                                                 W Hook-and-line          0.0018          16,255              29
                                                  C/P.
                                                 W Pot CV.......          0.0997          16,255           1,621
                                                 W Pot C/P......          0.0078          16,255             127
                                                 W Trawl CV.....          0.0007          16,255              11
                                                 C Jig..........          0.0000          27,594  ..............
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0001          27,594               3
                                                  CV.
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0012          27,594              33
                                                  C/P.

[[Page 10272]]

 
                                                 C Pot CV.......          0.0474          27,594           1,308
                                                 C Pot C/P......          0.0136          27,594             375
                                                 C Trawl CV.....          0.0012          27,594              33
                               B Season \2\....  W Jig..........          0.0000          10,837  ..............
                               Jig Gear: June    W Hook-and-line          0.0004          10,837               4
                                10-December 31.   CV.
                                                 W Hook-and-line          0.0001          10,837              20
                                                  C/P.
                               All other gears:  W Pot CV.......          0.0997          10,837           1,080
                               September 1-      W Pot C/P......          0.0078          10,837              85
                                December 31.
                                                 W Trawl CV.....          0.0007          10,837               8
                                                 C Jig..........          0.0000          18,396  ..............
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0001          18,396               2
                                                  CV.
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0012          18,396              22
                                                  C/P.
                                                 C Pot CV.......          0.0474          18,396             872
                                                 C Pot C/P......          0.0136          18,396             250
                                                 C Trawl CV.....          0.0012          18,396              22
                               Annual..........  E inshore......          0.0110           1,909              21
                                                 E offshore.....          0.0000             212  ..............
Sablefish....................  Annual, trawl     W..............          0.0000             295  ..............
                                gear.
                                                 C..............          0.0000             932  ..............
                                                 E..............          0.0000             220  ..............
Flatfish, shallow-water......  Annual..........  W..............          0.0059          13,250              78
                                                 C..............          0.0001          19,297               2
                                                 E..............          0.0000           2,834  ..............
Flatfish, deep-water.........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0035             301               1
                                                 C..............          0.0000           3,689  ..............
                                                 E..............          0.0000           9,344  ..............
Rex sole.....................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000           1,258  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0000           5,816  ..............
                                                 E..............          0.0000           2,076  ..............
Arrowtooth flounder..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0004          14,500               6
                                                 C..............          0.0001          75,000               8
                                                 E..............          0.0000          13,800  ..............
Flathead sole................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0002           8,650               2
                                                 C..............          0.0004          15,400               6
                                                 E..............          0.0000           3,706  ..............
Pacific ocean perch..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000           2,302  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0000          15,873  ..............
                                                 E..............          0.0000           2,837  ..............
Northern rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0005           1,226               1
                                                 C..............          0.0000           3,772  ..............
Shortraker rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0013              92               0
                                                 C..............          0.0012             397               0
                                                 E..............          0.0009             834               1
Dusky rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0017             296               1
                                                 C..............          0.0000           3,336  ..............
                                                 E..............          0.0000           1,477  ..............
Rougheye rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0067             115               1
                                                 C..............          0.0047             632               3
                                                 E..............          0.0008             375               0
Demersal shelf rockfish......  Annual..........  SEO............          0.0000             225  ..............
Thornyhead rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0047             235               1
                                                 C..............          0.0066             875               6
                                                 E..............          0.0045             731               3
Other rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0035  ..............  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0033           1,031               3
                                                 E..............          0.0000             780  ..............
Atka mackerel................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0000           2,000  ..............
Big skate....................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0392             731              29
                                                 C..............          0.0159           1,257              20
                                                 E..............          0.0000           1,267  ..............
Longnose skate...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0392             152               6
                                                 C..............          0.0159           2,090              33
                                                 E..............          0.0000             976  ..............
Other skates.................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           2,235              39

[[Page 10273]]

 
Sculpins.....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           5,569              98
Sharks.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           5,989             105
Squids.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           1,148              20
Octopuses....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           1,507              27
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.


       Table 26--Final 2016 GOA Non-American Fisheries Act Crab Vessel Groundfish Harvest Sideboard Limits
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Ratio of 1996-
                                                                   2000 non-AFA                   Final 2016 non-
                                                 Area/component/    crab vessel     Final 2016       AFA crab
           Species                Season/gear          gear       catch to 1996-       TACs           vessel
                                                                    2000 total                       sideboard
                                                                      harvest                          limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock......................  A Season,         Shumagin (610).          0.0098           4,760              47
                                January 20-
                                March 10.
                                                 Chirikof (620).          0.0031          39,992             124
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002          14,839               3
                               B Season, March   Shumagin (610).          0.0098           4,760              47
                                10-May 31.
                                                 Chirikof (620).          0.0031          49,586             154
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002           5,245               1
                               C Season, August  Shumagin (610).          0.0098          15,975             157
                                25-October 1.
                                                 Chirikof (620).          0.0031          19,179              59
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002          24,437               5
                               D Season,         Shumagin (610).          0.0098          15,975             157
                                October 1-
                                November 1.
                                                 Chirikof (620).          0.0031          19,179              59
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002          24,437               5
                               Annual..........  WYK (640)......          0.0000           6,187  ..............
                                                 SEO (650)......          0.0000          12,625  ..............
Pacific cod..................  A Season \1\,     W Jig..........          0.0000          16,255  ..............
                                January 1-June
                                10.
                                                 W Hook-and-line          0.0004          16,255               7
                                                  CV.
                                                 W Hook-and-line          0.0018          16,255              29
                                                  C/P.
                                                 W Pot CV.......          0.0997          16,255           1,621
                                                 W Pot C/P......          0.0078          16,255             127
                                                 W Trawl CV.....          0.0007          16,255              11
                                                 C Jig..........          0.0000          27,594  ..............
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0001          27,594               3
                                                  CV.
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0012          27,594              33
                                                  C/P.
                                                 C Pot CV.......          0.0474          27,594           1,308
                                                 C Pot C/P......          0.0136          27,594             375
                                                 C Trawl CV.....          0.0012          27,594              33
                               B Season \2\....  W Jig..........          0.0000          10,837  ..............
                               Jig Gear: June    W Hook-and-line          0.0004          10,837               4
                                10-December 31.   CV.
                                                 W Hook-and-line          0.0018          10,837              20
                                                  C/P.
                               All other gears:  W Pot CV.......          0.0997          10,837           1,080
                                September 1-
                                December 31.
                                                 W Pot C/P......          0.0078          10,837              85
                                                 W Trawl CV.....          0.0007          10,837               8
                                                 C Jig..........          0.0000          18,396  ..............
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0001          18,396               2
                                                  CV.
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0012          18,396              22
                                                  C/P.
                                                 C Pot CV.......          0.0474          18,396             872
                                                 C Pot C/P......          0.0136          18,396             250
                                                 C Trawl CV.....          0.0012          18,396              22
                               Annual..........  E inshore......          0.0110           1,909              21
                                                 E offshore.....          0.0000             212  ..............
Sablefish....................  Annual, trawl     W..............          0.0000             268  ..............
                                gear.

[[Page 10274]]

 
                                                 C..............          0.0000             846  ..............
                                                 E..............          0.0000             199  ..............
Flatfish, shallow-water......  Annual..........  W..............          0.0059          13,250              78
                                                 C..............          0.0001          17,114               2
                                                 E..............          0.0000           2,513  ..............
Flatfish, deep-water.........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0035             299               1
                                                 C..............          0.0000           3,645  ..............
                                                 E..............          0.0000           9,233  ..............
Rex sole.....................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000           1,234  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0000           5,707  ..............
                                                 E..............          0.0000           2,038  ..............
Arrowtooth flounder..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0004          14,500               6
                                                 C..............          0.0001          75,000               8
                                                 E..............          0.0000          13,800  ..............
Flathead sole................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0002           8,650               2
                                                 C..............          0.0004          15,400               6
                                                 E..............          0.0000           3,709  ..............
Pacific ocean perch..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000           2,358  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0000          16,184  ..............
                                                 E..............          0.0000           2,894  ..............
Northern rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0005           1,158               1
                                                 C..............          0.0000           3,563  ..............
Shortraker rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0013              92               0
                                                 C..............          0.0012             397               0
                                                 E..............          0.0009             834               1
Dusky rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0017             273               0
                                                 C..............          0.0000           3,077  ..............
                                                 E..............          0.0000           1,361  ..............
Rougheye rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0067             117               1
                                                 C..............          0.0047             643               3
                                                 E..............          0.0008             382               0
Demersal shelf rockfish......  Annual..........  SEO............          0.0000             225  ..............
Thornyhead rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0047             235               1
                                                 C..............          0.0066             875               6
                                                 E..............          0.0045             731               3
Other rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0035  ..............  ..............
                                                 C..............          0.0033           1,031               3
                                                 E..............          0.0000             780  ..............
Atka mackerel................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0000           2,000  ..............
Big skate....................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0392             731              29
                                                 C..............          0.0159           1,257              20
                                                 E..............          0.0000           1,267  ..............
Longnose skate...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0392             152               6
                                                 C..............          0.0159           2,090              33
                                                 E..............          0.0000             976  ..............
Other skates.................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           2,235              39
Sculpins.....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           5,569              98
Sharks.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           5,989             105
Squids.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           1,148              20
Octopuses....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           1,507              27
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.

Rockfish Program Groundfish Sideboard and Halibut PSC Limitations

    The Rockfish Program establishes three classes of sideboard 
provisions: CV groundfish sideboard restrictions, C/P rockfish 
sideboard restrictions, and C/P opt-out vessel sideboard restrictions. 
These sideboards are intended to limit the ability of rockfish 
harvesters to expand into other fisheries.
    CVs participating in the Rockfish Program may not participate in 
directed fishing for dusky rockfish, Pacific ocean perch, and northern 
rockfish in the West Yakutat district and Western GOA from July 1 
through July 31. Also, CVs may not participate in directed fishing for 
arrowtooth flounder, deep-water flatfish, and rex sole in the GOA from 
July 1 through July 31 (Sec.  679.82(d)).
    Catcher/processors participating in Rockfish Program cooperatives 
are restricted by rockfish and halibut PSC sideboard limits. These C/Ps 
are prohibited from directed fishing for dusky rockfish, Pacific ocean 
perch, and

[[Page 10275]]

northern rockfish in the West Yakutat district and Western GOA from 
July 1 through July 31. Holders of C/P-designated LLP licenses that opt 
out of participating in a Rockfish Program cooperative will be able to 
access that portion of each sideboard limit that is not assigned to 
rockfish cooperatives. Tables 27 and 28 list the final 2015 and 2016 
Rockfish Program C/P sideboard limits in the West Yakutat district and 
the Western GOA. Due to confidentiality requirements associated with 
fisheries data, the sideboard limits for the West Yakutat district are 
not displayed.

 Table 27--Final 2015 Rockfish Program Harvest Limits by Sector for West Yakutat District and Western GOA by the
                                            Catcher/Processor Sector
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          C/P sector (% of     Final 2015       Final 2015 C/P
               Area                      Fishery                TAC)              TACs              limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
West Yakutat District............  Dusky rockfish.....  Confidential \1\...           1,288  Confidential.\1\
                                   Pacific ocean perch  Confidential \1\...           2,014  Confidential.\1\
Western GOA......................  Dusky rockfish.....  72.3...............             296  214.
                                   Pacific ocean perch  50.6...............           2,302  1,165.
                                   Northern rockfish..  74.3...............           1,226  911.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Not released due to confidentiality requirements associated with fish ticket data, as established by NMFS
  and the State of Alaska.


 Table 28--Final 2016 Rockfish Program Harvest Limits by Sector for West Yakutat District and Western GOA by the
                                            Catcher/Processor Sector
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          C/P sector (% of     Final 2016       Final 2016 C/P
               Area                      Fishery                TAC)              TACs              limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
West Yakutat District............  Dusky rockfish.....  Confidential \1\...           1,187  Confidential.\1\
                                   Pacific ocean perch  Confidential \1\...           2,055  Confidential.\1\
Western GOA......................  Dusky rockfish.....  72.3...............             273  197.
                                   Pacific ocean perch  50.6...............           2,358  1,193.
                                   Northern rockfish..  74.3...............           1,158  860.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Not released due to confidentiality requirements associated with fish ticket data, as established by NMFS
  and the State of Alaska.

    Under the Rockfish Program, the C/P sector is subject to halibut 
PSC sideboard limits for the trawl deep-water and shallow-water species 
fisheries from July 1 through July 31. No halibut PSC sideboard limits 
apply to the CV sector, as vessels participating in cooperatives 
receive a portion of the annual halibut PSC limit. C/Ps that opt out of 
the Rockfish Program would be able to access that portion of the deep-
water and shallow-water halibut PSC sideboard limit not assigned to C/P 
rockfish cooperatives. The sideboard provisions for C/Ps that elect to 
opt out of participating in a rockfish cooperative are described in 
Sec.  679.82(c), (e), and (f). Sideboard limits are linked to the catch 
history of specific vessels that may choose to opt out. After March 1, 
NMFS will determine which C/Ps have opted-out of the Rockfish Program 
in 2015, and will know the ratios and amounts used to calculate opt-out 
sideboard ratios. NMFS will then calculate any applicable opt-out 
sideboards and post these allocations on the Alaska Region Web site at 
http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/rockfish/. Tables 
29 and 30 list the 2015 and 2016 Rockfish Program halibut PSC limits 
for the catcher/processor sector. These halibut PSC limits 
proportionately incorporate reductions made to the annual trawl halibut 
PSC limits and associated season apportionments (see Tables 14 and 15).

                             Table 29--Final 2015 Rockfish Program Halibut Mortality Limits for the Catcher/Processor Sector
                                                     [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      Shallow-water      Deep-water                     Annual shallow-    Annual deep-
                                                                     species fishery  species fishery    2015 halibut    water species    water species
                               Sector                                  halibut PSC      halibut PSC    mortality limit  fishery halibut  fishery halibut
                                                                     sideboard ratio  sideboard ratio        (mt)        PSC sideboard    PSC sideboard
                                                                        (percent)        (percent)                         limit (mt)       limit (mt)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Catcher/processor..................................................            0.10             2.50            1,759                2               44
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 10276]]


                             Table 30--Final 2016 Rockfish Program Halibut Mortality Limits for the Catcher/Processor Sector
                                                     [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      Shallow-water      Deep-water                     Annual shallow-    Annual deep-
                                                                     species fishery  species fishery    2016 halibut    water species    water species
                               Sector                                  halibut PSC      halibut PSC    mortality limit  fishery halibut  fishery halibut
                                                                     sideboard ratio  sideboard ratio        (mt)        PSC sideboard    PSC sideboard
                                                                        (percent)        (percent)                         limit (mt)       limit (mt)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Catcher/processor..................................................            0.10             2.50            1,706                2               43
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Amendment 80 Program Groundfish and PSC Sideboard Limits

    Amendment 80 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (Amendment 80 Program) 
established a limited access privilege program for the non-AFA trawl C/
P sector. The Amendment 80 Program established groundfish and halibut 
PSC catch limits for Amendment 80 Program participants to limit the 
ability of participants eligible for the Amendment 80 Program to expand 
their harvest efforts in the GOA.
    Section 679.92 establishes groundfish harvesting sideboard limits 
on all Amendment 80 program vessels, other than the F/V GOLDEN FLEECE, 
to amounts no greater than the limits listed in Table 37 to 50 CFR part 
679. Under regulations at Sec.  679.92(d), the F/V GOLDEN FLEECE is 
prohibited from directed fishing for pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific 
ocean perch, dusky rockfish, and northern rockfish in the GOA.
    Groundfish sideboard limits for Amendment 80 Program vessels 
operating in the GOA are based on their average aggregate harvests from 
1998 through 2004. Tables 31 and 32 list the final 2015 and 2016 
sideboard limits for Amendment 80 Program vessels. NMFS will deduct all 
targeted or incidental catch of sideboard species made by Amendment 80 
Program vessels from the sideboard limits in Tables 31 and 32.

              Table 31--Final 2015 GOA Groundfish Sideboard Limits for Amendment 80 Program Vessels
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Ratio of
                                Apportionments                     Amendment 80                   2015 Amendment
           Species              and allocations        Area       sector vessels   2015 TAC (mt)     80 vessel
                                   by season                         1998-2004                      sideboards
                                                                   catch to TAC                        (mt)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock......................  A Season,         Shumagin (610).           0.003           3,632              11
                                January 20-
                                February 25.
                                                 Chirikof (620).           0.002          30,503              61
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002          11,316              23
                               B Season, March   Shumagin (610).           0.003           3,632              11
                                10-May 31.
                                                 Chirikof (620).           0.002          37,820              76
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002           4,000               8
                               C Season, August  Shumagin (610).           0.003          12,185              37
                                25-September 15.
                                                 Chirikof (620).           0.002          14,628              29
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002          18,639              37
                               D Season,         Shumagin (610).           0.003          12,185              37
                                October 1-
                                November 1.
                                                 Chirikof (620).           0.002          14,628              29
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002          18,639              37
                               Annual..........  WYK (640)......           0.002           4,719               9
Pacific cod..................  A Season \1\,     W..............           0.020          16,255             325
                                January 1-June
                                10.
                                                 C..............           0.044          27,594           1,214
                               B Season \2\,     W..............           0.020          10,837             217
                                September 1-
                                December 31.
                                                 C..............           0.044          18,396             809
                               Annual..........  WYK............           0.034           2,121              72
Pacific ocean perch..........  Annual..........  W..............           0.994           2,302           2,288
                                                 WYK............           0.961           2,014           1,935
Northern rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............           1.000           1,226           1,226
Dusky rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............           0.764             296             226
                                                 WYK............           0.896           1,288           1,154
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.


[[Page 10277]]


              Table 32--Final 2016 GOA Groundfish Sideboard Limits for Amendment 80 Program Vessels
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Ratio of
                                Apportionments                     Amendment 80                   2016 Amendment
           Species              and allocations        Area       sector vessels   2016 TAC (mt)     80 vessel
                                   by season                         1998-2004                      sideboards
                                                                   catch to TAC                        (mt)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock......................  A Season,         Shumagin (610).           0.003           4,760              14
                                January 20-
                                February 25.
                                                 Chirikof (620).           0.002          39,992              80
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002          14,839              30
                               B Season, March   Shumagin (610).           0.003           4,760              14
                                10-May 31.
                                                 Chirikof (620).           0.002          49,586              99
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002           5,245              10
                               C Season, August  Shumagin (610).           0.003          15,975              48
                                25-September 15.
                                                 Chirikof (620).           0.002          19,179              38
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002          24,437              49
                               D Season,         Shumagin (610).           0.003          15,975              48
                                October 1-
                                November 1.
                                                 Chirikof (620).           0.002          19,179              38
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002          24,437              49
                               Annual..........  WYK (640)......           0.002           6,187              12
Pacific cod..................  A Season \1\,     W..............           0.020          16,255             325
                                January 1-June
                                10.
                                                 C..............           0.044          27,594           1,214
                               B Season \2\,     W..............           0.020          10,837             217
                                September 1-
                                December 31.
                                                 C..............           0.044          18,396             809
                               Annual..........  WYK............           0.034           2,121              72
Pacific ocean perch..........  Annual..........  W..............           0.994           2,358           2,344
                                                 WYK............           0.961           2,055           1,975
Northern rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............           1.000           1,158           1,158
Dusky rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............           0.764             273             209
                                                 WYK............           0.896           1,187           1,064
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.

    The PSC sideboard limits for Amendment 80 Program vessels in the 
GOA are based on the historic use of halibut PSC by Amendment 80 
Program vessels in each PSC target category from 1998 through 2004. 
These values are slightly lower than the average historic use to 
accommodate two factors: Allocation of halibut PSC cooperative quota 
under the Central GOA Rockfish Program and the exemption of the F/V 
GOLDEN FLEECE from this restriction (Sec.  679.92(b)(2)). Tables 33 and 
34 list the final 2015 and 2016 halibut PSC limits for Amendment 80 
Program vessels, respectively. These tables incorporate the maximum 
percentages of the halibut PSC sideboard limits that may be used by 
Amendment 80 Program vessels as contained in Table 38 to 50 CFR part 
679. These halibut PSC limits proportionately incorporate the 
reductions made to the annual trawl halibut PSC limits and associated 
seasonal apportionments (see Tables 14 and 15). Additionally, residual 
amounts of a seasonal Amendment 80 sideboard halibut PSC limit may 
carry forward to the next season limit (Sec.  679.92(b)(2)).

               Table 33--Final 2015 Halibut PSC Limits for Amendment 80 Program Vessels in the GOA
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Historic
                                                                  Amendment 80
                                                                   use of the    2015 annual PSC  2015 Amendment
            Season               Season dates    Target fishery  annual halibut     limit (mt)     80 vessel PSC
                                                                    PSC limit                          limit
                                                                  catch (ratio)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1............................  January 20-      shallow-water..          0.0048  1,759..........               8
                                April 1.
                                                deep-water.....          0.0115  1,759..........              20
2............................  April 1-July 1.  shallow-water..          0.0189  1,759..........              33
                                                deep-water.....          0.1072  1,759..........             189
3............................  July 1-          shallow-water..          0.0146  1,759..........              26
                                September 1.
                                                deep-water.....          0.0521  1,759..........              92
4............................  September 1-     shallow-water..          0.0074  1,759..........              13
                                October 1.
                                                deep-water.....          0.0014  1,759..........               2
5............................  October 1-       shallow-water..          0.0227  1,759..........              40
                                December 31.
                                                deep-water.....          0.0371  1,759..........              65
                                                                                                 ---------------

[[Page 10278]]

 
                                                                                 Total:.........             488
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


               Table 34--Final 2016 Halibut PSC Limits for Amendment 80 Program Vessels in the GOA
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Historic
                                                                  Amendment 80
                                                                   use of the    2016 annual PSC  2016 Amendment
            Season               Season dates    Target fishery  annual halibut     limit (mt)     80 vessel PSC
                                                                    PSC limit                          limit
                                                                  catch (ratio)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1............................  January 20-      shallow-water..          0.0048  1,706..........               8
                                April 1.
                                                deep-water.....          0.0115  1,706..........              20
2............................  April 1-July 1.  shallow-water..          0.0189  1,706..........              32
                                                deep-water.....          0.1072  1,706..........             183
3............................  July 1-          shallow-water..          0.0146  1,706..........              25
                                September 1.
                                                deep-water.....          0.0521  1,706..........              89
4............................  September 1-     shallow-water..          0.0074  1,706..........              13
                                October 1.
                                                deep-water.....          0.0014  1,706..........               2
5............................  October 1-       shallow-water..          0.0227  1,706..........              39
                                December 31.
                                                deep-water.....          0.0371  1,706..........              63
                                                                                                 ---------------
                                                                                 Total:.........             474
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Directed Fishing Closures

    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), if the Regional Administrator 
determines (1) that any allocation or apportionment of a target species 
or species group allocated or apportioned to a fishery will be reached; 
or (2) with respect to pollock and Pacific cod, that an allocation or 
apportionment to an inshore or offshore component or sector allocation 
will be reached, the Regional Administrator may establish a directed 
fishing allowance (DFA) for that species or species group. 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 GOA 
regulatory area or district (Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii)).
    The Regional Administrator has determined that the TACs for the 
species listed in Table 35 are necessary to account for the incidental 
catch of these species in other anticipated groundfish fisheries for 
the 2015 and 2016 fishing years.

      Table 35--2015 and 2016 Directed Fishing Closures in the GOA
 [Amounts for incidental catch in other directed fisheries are in metric
                                  tons]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Incidental catch
                                    Area/component/     amount and year
             Target                      gear         (if amounts differ
                                                           by year)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock.........................  all/offshore......  not applicable
                                                       \1\.
Sablefish \2\...................  all/trawl.........  1,446 (2015).
                                                      1,313 (2016).
Pacific cod.....................  Western, catcher/   627.
                                   processor, trawl.
                                  Central, catcher/   1,911.
                                   processor, trawl.
Shortraker rockfish \2\.........  all...............  1,323.
Rougheye rockfish \2\...........  all...............  1,122 (2015)
                                                      1,142 (2016).
Thornyhead rockfish.............  all...............  1,841.
Other rockfish..................  all...............  1,811.
Atka mackerel...................  all...............  2,000.
Big skate.......................  all...............  3,255.
Longnose skate..................  all...............  3,218.
Other skates....................  all...............  2,235.
Sharks..........................  all...............  5,989.
Squids..........................  all...............  1,148.
Octopuses.......................  all...............  1,507.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Pollock is closed to directed fishing in the GOA by the offshore
  component under Sec.   679.20(a)(6)(i).
\2\ Closures not applicable to participants in cooperatives conducted
  under the Central GOA Rockfish Program.


[[Page 10279]]

    Consequently, in accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), the 
Regional Administrator establishes the DFA for the species or species 
groups listed in Table 35 as zero mt. Therefore, in accordance with 
Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for those 
species, areas, gear types, and components in the GOA listed in Table 
35. These closures will remain in effect through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., 
December 31, 2016.
    Section 679.64(b)(5) provides for management of AFA CV groundfish 
harvest limits and PSC bycatch limits using directed fishing closures 
and PSC closures according to procedures set out at Sec. Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)(iv), 679.21(d)(6), and 679.21(e)(3)(v). The Regional 
Administrator has determined that, in addition to the closures listed 
above, many of the non-exempt AFA CV sideboard limits listed in Tables 
21 and 22 are necessary as incidental catch to support other 
anticipated groundfish fisheries for the 2015 and 2016 fishing years. 
In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iv), the Regional Administrator 
sets the DFAs for the species and species groups in Table 36 at zero 
mt. Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is 
prohibiting directed fishing by non-exempt AFA CVs in the GOA for the 
species and specified areas listed in Table 36. These closures will 
remain in effect through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2016.

   Table 36--2015 and 2016 Non-Exempt AFA CV Sideboard Directed Fishing Closures for All Gear Types in the GOA
                  [Amounts for incidental catch in other directed fisheries are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Regulatory area/
              Species                      district                       Incidental catch amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod.......................  Eastern..............  15 (inshore) and 2 (offshore).
Shallow-water flatfish............  Eastern..............  36 in 2015, 32 in 2016.
Deep-water flatfish...............  Western..............  0.
Rex sole..........................  Eastern and Western..  6 and 1 (2015), 5 and 1 (2016).
Arrowtooth flounder...............  Eastern and Western..  3 and 30.
Flathead sole.....................  Eastern and Western..  3 and 31.
Pacific ocean perch...............  Western..............  5.
Northern rockfish.................  Western..............  0.
Dusky rockfish....................  Entire GOA...........  10 in 2015, 9 in 2016.
Demersal shelf rockfish...........  SEO District.........  0.
Sculpins..........................  Entire GOA...........  35.
Squids............................  Entire GOA...........  7.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 680.22 provides for the management of non-AFA crab vessel 
sideboards using directed fishing closures in accordance with Sec.  
680.22(e)(2) and (3). The Regional Administrator has determined that 
the non-AFA crab vessel sideboards listed in Tables 25 and 26 are 
insufficient to support a directed fishery and has set the sideboard 
DFA at zero mt, with the exception of Pacific cod pot CV sector 
apportionments in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas. Therefore, 
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing by non-AFA crab vessels in the GOA 
for all species and species groups listed in Tables 25 and 26, with the 
exception of the Pacific cod pot CV sector apportionments in the 
Western and Central Regulatory Areas.
    Closures implemented under the 2014 and 2015 GOA harvest 
specifications for groundfish (79 FR 12890, March 6, 2014) remain 
effective under authority of these final 2015 and 2016 harvest 
specifications, and are posted at the following Web site: http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/cm/info_bulletins/. While these closures 
are in effect, the maximum retainable amounts at Sec.  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. NMFS may implement other closures 
during the 2015 and 2016 fishing years as necessary for effective 
conservation and management.

Comments and Response

    NMFS did not receive any comments in response to the proposed 2015 
and 2016 harvest specifications (79 FR 72593, December 8, 2014).

Classification

    NMFS has determined that these final harvest specifications are 
consistent with the FMP and with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other 
applicable laws.
    This action is authorized under 50 CFR 679.20 and is exempt from 
review under Executive 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 2015, 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 preferred alternative is a harvest strategy in which 
TACs are set at a level that falls within the range of ABCs recommended 
by the Council's SSC; the sum of the TACs must achieve the OY specified 
in the FMP. The SIR evaluates the need to prepare a Supplemental EIS 
(SEIS) for the 2015 and 2016 groundfish harvest specifications.
    An 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 2015 and 2016 harvest 
specifications, which were set according to the preferred harvest 
strategy in the EIS, do not constitute a substantial 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

[[Page 10280]]

impacts. Additionally, the 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications will 
result in environmental impacts within the scope of those analyzed and 
disclosed in the EIS. Therefore, supplemental National Environmental 
Policy Act documentation is not necessary to implement the 2015 and 
2016 harvest specifications.
    Section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that, when 
an agency promulgates a final rule under section 553 of Title 5 of the 
United States Code, after being required by that section, or any other 
law, to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking, the agency 
shall prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA).
    Section 604 describes the required contents of a FRFA: 1) A 
statement of the need for, and objectives of, the rule; 2) a statement 
of the significant issues raised by the public comments in response to 
the initial regulatory flexibility analysis, a statement of the 
assessment of the agency of such issues, and a statement of any changes 
made in the proposed rule as a result of such comments; 3) the response 
of the agency to any comments filed by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy 
of the Small Business Administration in response to the proposed rule, 
and a detailed statement of any change made to the proposed rule in the 
final rule as a result of the comments; 4) a description of and an 
estimate of the number of small entities to which the rule will apply 
or an explanation of why no such estimate is available; 5) a 
description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping and other 
compliance requirements of the rule, including an estimate of the 
classes of small entities which will be subject to the requirement and 
the type of professional skills necessary for preparation of the report 
or record; 6) a description of the steps the agency has taken to 
minimize the significant economic impact on small entities consistent 
with the stated objectives of applicable statutes, including a 
statement of the factual, policy, and legal reasons for selecting the 
alternative adopted in the final rule and why each one of the other 
significant alternatives to the rule considered by the agency which 
affect the impact on small entities was rejected.
    A description of this action, its purpose, and its legal basis are 
contained at the beginning of the preamble to this final rule and are 
not repeated here.
    NMFS published the proposed rule on December 8, 2014 (79 FR 72593). 
NMFS prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) to 
accompany this action, and included a summary in the proposed rule. The 
comment period closed on January 7, 2015. No comments were received on 
the IRFA or the economic impacts of the rule more generally.
    The entities directly regulated by this action include a) entities 
operating vessels with groundfish FFPs catching FMP groundfish in 
Federal waters; b) all entities operating vessels, regardless of 
whether they hold groundfish FFPs, catching FMP groundfish in the 
state-waters parallel fisheries; and c) all entities operating vessels 
fishing for halibut inside three miles of the shore (whether or not 
they have FFPs).
    On June 12, 2014, the Small Business Administration issued an 
interim final rule revising the small business size standards for 
several industries effective July 14, 2014 (79 FR 33647, June 12, 
2014). The rule increased the size standard for Finfish Fishing from 
$19.0 million to $20.5 million, Shellfish Fishing from $ 5.0 million to 
$5.5 million, and Other Marine Fishing from $7.0 million to $7.5 
million.
    Based on data from 2013 fishing activity, there were 1,156 
individual catcher vessel entities with gross revenues meeting small 
entity criteria. Of these entities, 1,075 used hook-and-line gear, 116 
used pot gear, and 33 used trawl gear (some of these entities used more 
than one gear type, thus the counts of entities using the different 
gear types do not sum to the total number of entities above). Three 
individual catcher/processors met the small entity criterion; two used 
hook-and-line gear, and one used trawl gear. Catcher/processor gross 
revenues were not reported for confidentiality reasons, however hook-
and-line small entities had average gross revenues of $380,000, small 
pot entities had average gross revenues of $960,000, and small trawl 
entities had average gross revenues of $2.8 million.
    Some of these vessels are members of AFA inshore pollock 
cooperatives, of GOA rockfish cooperatives, or of BSAI crab 
rationalization cooperatives and, therefore, under the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (RFA) it is the aggregate gross receipts of all 
participating members of the cooperative that must meet the threshold. 
Vessels that participate in these cooperatives are considered to be 
large entities within the meaning of the RFA. These relationships are 
accounted for, along with corporate affiliations among vessels, to the 
extent that they are known, in the estimated number of small entities. 
If affiliations exist of which NMFS is unaware, or if entities had non-
fishing revenue sources, the estimates above may overstate the number 
of directly regulated small entities.
    This action does not modify recordkeeping or reporting 
requirements.
    NMFS considered other, alternative harvest strategies when choosing 
the preferred harvest strategy (Alternative 2) in December 2006. These 
included the following:
     Alternative 1: Set TACs to produce fishing mortality 
rates, F, that are equal to maxFABC, unless the sum of the TACs is 
constrained by the OY established in the FMPs. This is equivalent to 
setting TACs to produce harvest levels equal to the maximum permissible 
ABCs, as constrained by OY. The term ``maxFABC'' refers to the maximum 
permissible value of FABC under Amendment 56 to the groundfish FMPs. 
Historically, the TAC has been set at or below the ABC, therefore, this 
alternative represents a likely upper limit for setting the TAC within 
the OY and ABC limits.
     Alternative 3: For species in Tiers 1, 2, and 3, set TAC 
to produce F equal to the most recent 5-year average actual F. For 
species in Tiers 4, 5, and 6, set TAC equal to the most recent 5-year 
average actual catch. For stocks with a high level of scientific 
information, TACs would be set to produce harvest levels equal to the 
most recent 5-year average actual fishing mortality rates. For stocks 
with insufficient scientific information, TACs would be set equal to 
the most recent 5-year average actual catch. This alternative 
recognizes that for some stocks, catches may fall well below ABCs, and 
recent average F may provide a better indicator of actual F than FABC 
does.
     Alternative 4: 1) Set TACs for rockfish species in Tier 3 
at F75%. Set TACs for rockfish species in Tier 5 at F = 0.5M. Set 
spatially explicit TACs for shortraker and rougheye rockfish in the 
GOA. 2) Taking the rockfish TACs as calculated above, reduce all other 
TACs by a proportion that does not vary across species, so that the sum 
of all TACs, including rockfish TACs, is equal to the lower bound of 
the area OY (116,000 mt in the GOA). This alternative sets conservative 
and spatially explicit TACs for rockfish species that are long-lived 
and late to mature and sets conservative TACs for the other groundfish 
species.
     Alternative 5: (No Action) Set TACs at zero.
    These four alternatives do not meet the objectives of this action 
although they have a smaller adverse economic impact on small entities 
than the

[[Page 10281]]

preferred alternative. The Council rejected these alternatives as 
harvest strategies in 2006, and the Secretary did so in 2007.
    Alternative 1 selected harvest rates that will allow fishermen to 
harvest stocks at the level of ABCs, unless total harvests are 
constrained by the upper bound of the GOA OY of 800,000 metric tons. 
The sums of ABCs in 2015 and 2016 are 685,597 mt and 731,049 mt, 
respectively. The sums of the TACs in 2015 and 2016 are 536,158 mt and 
590,161 mt, respectively. Thus, although the sum of ABCs in each year 
is less than 800,000 metric tons, the sums of the TACs in each year are 
less than the sums of the ABCs.
    In most cases, the Council has set TACs equal to ABCs. The 
divergence between aggregate TACs and aggregate ABCs reflects a variety 
of special species- and fishery-specific circumstances:
     Pacific cod TACs are set equal to 70 percent in the 
Western GOA and 75 percent in the Central GOA of the Pacific cod ABCs 
in each year to account for the guideline harvest levels (GHL) set by 
the State of Alaska for its GHL Pacific cod fisheries (30 and 25 
percent, respectively, of the Western and Central GOA ABCs). Thus, the 
difference between the Federal TACs and ABCs does not actually reflect 
a Pacific cod harvest below the Pacific cod ABC, as the balance is 
available for the State's cod GHL fisheries.
     Shallow-water flatfish and flathead sole TACs are set 
below ABCs in the Western and Central GOA regulatory areas. Arrowtooth 
flounder TACs are set below ABC in all GOA regulatory areas. Catches of 
these flatfish species rarely, if ever, approach the proposed ABCs or 
TACs. Important trawl fisheries in the GOA take halibut PSC, and are 
constrained by limits on the allowable halibut PSC mortality. These 
limits routinely force the closure of trawl fisheries before they have 
harvested the available groundfish ABC. Thus, actual harvests of 
groundfish in the GOA routinely fall short of some ABCs and TACs. 
Markets can also constrain harvests below the TACs, as has been the 
case with arrowtooth flounder, in the past. These TACs are set to allow 
for increased harvest opportunities for these targets while conserving 
the halibut PSC limit for use in other, more fully utilized, fisheries.
     The other rockfish TAC is set below the ABC in the 
Southeast Outside district based on several factors. In addition to 
conservation concerns for the rockfish species in this group, there is 
a regulatory prohibition against using trawl gear east of 140[deg] W. 
longitude. Because most species of other rockfish are caught 
exclusively with trawl gear, the catch of such species with other gear 
types, such as hook-and-line, is low. The commercial catch of other 
rockfish in the Eastern regulatory area, which includes the West 
Yakutat and Southeast Outside districts, has ranged from approximately 
70 mt to 248 mt per year over the last decade.
     The GOA-wide Atka mackerel TAC is set below the ABC. The 
estimates of survey biomass continue to be unreliable in the GOA. 
Therefore, the Council recommended and NMFS agrees that the Atka 
mackerel TAC in the GOA be set at an amount to support incidental catch 
in other directed fisheries.
    Alternative 3 selects harvest rates based on the most recent 5 
years of harvest rates (for species in Tiers 1 through 3) or for the 
most recent 5 years of harvests (for species in Tiers 4 through 6). 
This alternative is inconsistent with the objectives of this action, 
because it does not take account of the most recent biological 
information for this fishery.
    Alternative 4 would lead to significantly lower harvests of all 
species to reduce TACs from the upper end of the OY range in the GOA to 
its lower end of 116,000 mt. Overall, this would reduce 2015 TACs by 
about 78 percent. This would lead to significant reductions in harvests 
of species by small entities. While production declines in the GOA 
would undoubtedly be associated with price increases in the GOA, these 
increases would still be constrained by the availability of 
substitutes, and are very unlikely to offset revenue declines from 
smaller production. Thus, this action would have a detrimental economic 
impact on small entities.
    Alternative 5, which sets all harvests equal to zero, may also 
address conservation issues, but would have a significant adverse 
economic impact on small entities.
    Impacts on marine mammals resulting from fishing activities 
conducted under this rule are discussed in the EIS and SIR (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 because delaying this rule would be 
contrary to the public interest. The Plan Team review occurred in 
November 2014, and Council consideration and recommendations occurred 
in December 2014. Accordingly, NMFS' review could not begin until 
January 2015. For all fisheries not currently closed because the TACs 
established under the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications (79 FR 
12890, March 6, 2014) were not reached, it is possible that they would 
be closed prior to the expiration of a 30-day delayed effectiveness 
period, because their TACs could be reached within that period. If 
implemented immediately, this rule would allow these fisheries to 
continue because the new TACs implemented by this rule are higher than 
the ones under which they are currently fishing.
    Certain fisheries, such as those for pollock and Pacific cod, are 
intensive, fast-paced fisheries. Other fisheries, such as those for 
sablefish, flatfish, rockfish, Atka mackerel, skates, sculpins, sharks, 
squids, 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 many of these 
fisheries. If this rule allowed for a 30-day delay in effectiveness and 
if a TAC were reached during those 30 days, NMFS would close directed 
fishing or prohibit retention for the applicable species. Any delay in 
allocating the final TACs in these fisheries would cause confusion to 
the industry and potential economic harm through unnecessary discards, 
thus undermining the intent of the rule. Waiving the 30-day delay 
allows NMFS to prevent economic loss to fishermen that could otherwise 
occur should the 2015 TACs be reached. 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 sideboard limits, a failure to 
implement the updated sideboard limits before initial season's end 
could deny the intended economic protection to the non-sideboarded 
sectors. Conversely, in fisheries with increasing sideboard limits, 
economic benefit could be denied to the sideboard limited sectors.
    If the final harvest specifications are not effective by March 14, 
2015, which is the start of the 2015 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

[[Page 10282]]

along with Pacific halibut, as both hook-and-line sablefish and Pacific 
halibut are managed under the same IFQ program. Immediate effectiveness 
of the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications will allow the 
sablefish IFQ fishery to begin concurrently with the Pacific halibut 
IFQ season.
    In addition, 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 for those species that have lower 2015 ABCs and TACs 
than those established in the 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications (79 
FR 12890, March 6, 2014). 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 TACs. 
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

    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 2015 and 2016 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 2015 and 2016 
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 17, 2015.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-03896 Filed 2-24-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P