Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Final 2019 and 2020 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish, 9000-9027 [2019-04539]

Download as PDF 9000 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations catch, possess, transfer, land, or sell more than 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel per trip or calendar day through December 31, 2019. Vessels with more than 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel that have entered port before 00:01 hr local time, March 12, 2019, may land and sell more than 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel from that trip. Classification This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. NMFS finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment because it would be contrary to the public interest and impracticable. This action restricts the catch of Atlantic mackerel for the remainder of the fishing year. Data have only recently become available indicating that directed Atlantic mackerel trips by federally permitted vessels will have caught 95 percent of the river herring and shad catch cap established for the 2019 calendar year. Once NMFS projects that river herring and shad catch will reach 95 percent of the catch cap, NMFS is required by Federal regulation to implement a 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) Atlantic mackerel possession limit and prohibit vessels from landing Atlantic mackerel more than once per calendar day through December 31, 2019. The regulations at § 648.24(b)(6) require such action to ensure that such vessels do not exceed the river herring and shad catch cap for the Atlantic mackerel fishery. If implementation of this closure is delayed to solicit prior public comment, the river herring and shad catch cap for this fishing year will likely be exceeded; thereby, undermining the conservation objectives of the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan. NMFS further finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), good cause to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period for the reasons stated above. amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: March 8, 2019. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–04594 Filed 3–8–19; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 170816769–8162–02] fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA. While this closure is effective, the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip. RIN 0648–XG885 Classification Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the closure of directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of March 7, 2019. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment. This action is required by § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the B season allowance of the 2019 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 610 in the GOA. DATES: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 10, 2019, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., May 31, 2019. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907–586–7228. NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. The B season allowance of the 2019 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA is 848 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (83 FR 8768, March 1, 2018) and inseason adjustment (84 FR 33, January 4, 2019). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator has determined that the B season allowance of the 2019 TAC of pollock in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 748 mt and is setting aside the remaining 100 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: March 8, 2019. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–04593 Filed 3–8–19; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 180713633–9174–02] RIN 0648–XG356 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Final 2019 and 2020 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; harvest specifications and closures. NMFS announces final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications, apportionments, and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the remainder of the 2019 and the start of the 2020 fishing years, and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). The 2019 harvest specifications supersede those previously set in the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications, and the 2020 harvest specifications will be superseded in early 2020 when the final 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications are published. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). DATES: Harvest specifications and closures are effective from 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 13, 2019, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2020. ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the Alaska Groundfish Harvest Specifications Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Record of Decision (ROD), annual Supplementary Information Reports (SIRs) to the EIS, and the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) prepared for this action are available from https:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. The 2018 Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for the groundfish resources of the BSAI, dated November 2018, as well as the SAFE reports for previous years, are available from the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) at 605 West 4th Avenue, Suite 306, Anchorage, AK, 99510–2252, phone 907–271–2809, or from the Council’s website at https:// www.npfmc.org/. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 679 implement the FMP and govern the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI. The Council prepared the FMP, and NMFS approved it, under the MagnusonStevens Act. General regulations amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 governing U.S. fisheries also appear at 50 CFR part 600. The FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS, after consultation with the Council, to specify annually the total allowable catch (TAC) for each target species category. The sum of all TAC for all groundfish species in the BSAI must be within the optimum yield (OY) range of 1.4 million to 2.0 million metric tons (mt) (see § 679.20(a)(1)(i)(A)). This final rule specifies the total TAC at 2.0 million mt for both 2019 and 2020. NMFS also must specify apportionments of TAC, prohibited species catch (PSC) allowances, and prohibited species quota (PSQ) reserves established by § 679.21; seasonal allowances of pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel TAC; American Fisheries Act allocations; Amendment 80 allocations; Community Development Quota (CDQ) reserve amounts established by § 679.20(b)(1)(ii); and acceptable biological catch (ABC) surpluses and reserves for CDQ groups and the Amendment 80 cooperative for flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole. The final harvest specifications set forth in Tables 1 through 25 of this action satisfy these requirements. Section 679.20(c)(3)(i) further requires that NMFS consider public comment on the proposed harvest specifications and, after consultation with the Council, publish final harvest specifications in the Federal Register. The proposed 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications for the groundfish fishery of the BSAI were published in the Federal Register on December 6, 2018 (83 FR 62815). Comments were invited and accepted through January 7, 2019. NMFS received no comments on the proposed harvest specifications. NMFS consulted with the Council on the final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications during the December 2018 Council meeting in Anchorage, AK. After considering public comments, as well as biological and socioeconomic data that were available at the Council’s December meeting, in this final rule NMFS implements the final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications as recommended by the Council. ABC and TAC Harvest Specifications The final ABC amounts for Alaska groundfish are based on the best available biological and socioeconomic information, including projected biomass trends, information on assumed distribution of stock biomass, and revised technical methods used to calculate stock biomass. In general, the development of ABCs and overfishing levels (OFLs) involves sophisticated PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 9001 statistical analyses of fish populations. The FMP specifies a series of six tiers to define OFL and ABC amounts based on the level of reliable information available to fishery scientists. Tier 1 represents the highest level of information quality available, while Tier 6 represents the lowest. In December 2018, the Council, its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), and its Advisory Panel (AP) reviewed current biological and harvest information about the condition of the BSAI groundfish stocks. The Council’s BSAI Groundfish Plan Team (Plan Team) compiled and presented this information in the 2018 SAFE report for the BSAI groundfish fisheries, dated November 2018 (see ADDRESSES). The SAFE report contains a review of the latest scientific analyses and estimates of each species’ biomass and other biological parameters, as well as summaries of the available information on the BSAI ecosystem and the economic condition of groundfish fisheries off Alaska. NMFS notified the public of the comment period for these harvest specifications—and of the publication of the 2018 SAFE report— in the notice of proposed harvest specifications. From the data and analyses in the SAFE report, the Plan Team recommended an OFL and ABC for each species or species group at the November 2018 Plan Team meeting. In December 2018, the SSC, AP, and Council reviewed the Plan Team’s recommendations. The final TAC recommendations were based on the ABCs as adjusted for other biological and socioeconomic considerations, including maintaining the sum of all the TACs within the required OY range of 1.4 million to 2.0 million mt. As required by annual catch limit rules for all fisheries (74 FR 3178, January 16, 2009), none of the Council’s recommended 2019 or 2020 TACs exceed the final 2019 or 2020 ABCs for any species or species group. NMFS finds that the Council’s recommended OFLs, ABCs, and TACs are consistent with the preferred harvest strategy and the biological condition of groundfish stocks as described in the 2018 SAFE report that was approved by the Council. Therefore, this final rule provides notice that the Secretary of Commerce approves the final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications as recommended by the Council. The 2019 harvest specifications set in this final action will supersede the 2019 harvest specifications previously set in the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018). The 2020 harvest specifications herein will be superseded in early 2020 E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 9002 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations when the final 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications are published. Pursuant to this final action, the 2019 harvest specifications therefore will apply for the remainder of the current year (2019), while the 2020 harvest specifications are projected only for the following year (2020) and will be superseded in early 2020 by the final 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications. Because this final action (published in early 2019) will be superseded in early 2020 by the publication of the final 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications, it is projected that this final action will implement the harvest specifications for the BSAI for approximately one year. Other Actions Affecting the 2019 and 2020 Harvest Specifications Amendment 117: Reclassify Squid as an Ecosystem Species As described in the proposed harvest specifications, NMFS published the final rule to implement Amendment 117 to the FMP (83 FR 31460, July 6, 2018). This rule reclassified squid in the FMP as an ‘‘Ecosystem Component’’ species, which is a category of non-target species that are not in need of conservation and management. NMFS will no longer set an OFL, ABC, and TAC for squid. Therefore, the final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications for the BSAI do not include an OFL, ABC, and TAC for squid. Amendment 117 prohibits directed fishing for squid, while maintaining recordkeeping and reporting requirements for squid. Amendment 117 also establishes a squid maximum retainable amount when directed fishing for groundfish species at 20 percent to discourage targeting squid species. amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES Rulemaking To Prohibit Directed Fishing for American Fisheries Act (AFA) Sideboard Limits On February 8, 2019, NMFS published a final rule (84 FR 2723, February 8, 2019) that modifies regulations for the American Fisheries Act (AFA) Program participants subject to limits on the catch of specific species (sideboard limits) in the BSAI. Sideboard limits are intended to prevent AFA Program participants who benefit from receiving exclusive harvesting privileges in a particular fishery from shifting effort to other fisheries. Specifically, the final rule primarily establishes regulations to prohibit directed fishing for sideboard limits for specific groundfish species or species groups, rather than prohibiting directed fishing for AFA sideboard limits through the BSAI annual harvest specifications. Currently, NMFS VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 calculates numerous AFA Program sideboard limits as part of the annual BSAI groundfish harvest specifications process and publishes these sideboard limits in the Federal Register. Concurrently, NMFS prohibits directed fishing for the majority of the groundfish sideboard limits because most limits are too small to support directed fishing. Rather than continue this annual process, the final rule revises regulations to prohibit directed fishing in regulation for most AFA Program groundfish sideboard limits. Once the final rule is effective (effective March 11, 2019), NMFS will no longer publish in the annual BSAI harvest specifications the AFA Program sideboard limit amounts for groundfish species subject to the final rule (contained in Tables 20 and 22 of this action), and those groundfish species subject to the final rule will be prohibited to directed fishing in regulation (84 FR 2723). State of Alaska Guideline Harvest Levels For 2019 and 2020, the Board of Fisheries (BOF) for the State of Alaska (State) established the guideline harvest level (GHL) for vessels using pot gear in State waters in the Bering Sea subarea (BS) equal to 8 percent of the Pacific cod ABC in the BS. Also, for 2019 and 2020, the BOF established an additional GHL for vessels using jig gear in State waters in the BS equal to 45 mt of Pacific cod in the BS. The Council and its Plan Team, SSC, and AP recommended that the sum of all State and Federal water Pacific cod removals from the BS not exceed the ABC recommendations for Pacific cod in the BS. Accordingly, the Council recommended and NMFS approves that the 2019 and 2020 Pacific cod TACs in the BS account for the State’s GHLs for Pacific cod caught in State waters in the BS. Also, the BOF approved a one percent annual increase in the BS GHL for vessels using pot gear, up to 15 percent of the BS ABC, if 90 percent of the GHL is harvested by November 15 of the preceding year. If 90 percent of the 2019 BS GHL is not harvested by November 15, 2019, the 2020 GHL will remain at 8 percent. If, however, 90 percent of the 2019 BS GHL is harvested by November 15, 2019, the 2020 GHL will increase by 1 percent to 9 percent of the 2020 BS ABC, and the 2020 BS TAC will be set to account for the increased BS GHL. For 2019 and 2020, the BOF established a GHL in State waters in the Aleutian Islands subarea (AI) equal to 31 percent of the Pacific cod ABC in the AI. The Council and its Plan Team, SSC, and AP recommended that the sum of all State and Federal water Pacific cod PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 removals from the AI not exceed the ABC recommendations for Pacific cod in the AI. Accordingly, the Council recommended and NMFS approves that the 2019 and 2020 Pacific cod TACs in the AI account for the State’s GHL for Pacific cod caught in State waters in the AI. Changes from the Proposed 2019 and 2020 Harvest Specifications for the BSAI The Council’s recommendations for the proposed 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications (83 FR 62815, December 6, 2018) were based largely on information contained in the 2017 SAFE report for the BSAI groundfish fisheries. Through the proposed harvest specifications, NMFS notified the public that these harvest specifications could change, as the Council would consider information contained in the 2018 SAFE report; recommendations from the Plan Team, SSC, and AP committees; and public comments when making its recommendations for final harvest specifications at the December 2018 Council meeting. NMFS further notified the public that, as required by the FMP and its implementing regulations, the sum of the TACs must be within the OY range of 1.4 million and 2.0 million mt. Information contained in the 2018 SAFE report indicates biomass changes from the 2017 SAFE report for several groundfish species. The 2018 report was made available for public review during the public comment period for the proposed harvest specifications. At the December 2018 Council meeting, the SSC recommended the 2019 and 2020 ABCs based on the best and most recent information contained in the 2018 SAFE report. This recommendation resulted in an ABC sum total for all BSAI groundfish species in excess of 2.0 million mt for both 2019 and 2020. Based on increased fishing effort in 2018, the Council recommends final BS pollock TACs increase by 12,800 mt in 2019 and 35,800 mt in 2020 compared to the proposed 2019 and 2020 BS pollock TACs. In terms of percentage, the largest increases in final 2019 and 2020 TACs relative to the proposed 2019 and 2020 TACs include BSAI shortraker rockfish and octopuses. The increases account for anticipated higher incidental catches of these species, based on increased incidental catches in 2018. Other increases in the final 2019 TACs relative to the proposed 2019 TACs include Bering Sea Pacific cod, Alaska plaice, ‘‘other flatfish,’’ Pacific ocean perch, Central Aleutian and Western Aleutian (CAI/WAI) blackspotted/rougheye rockfish, and Western Aleutian Islands (WAI) Atka E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations mackerel. The 2019 increases account for higher interest in directed fishing or higher anticipated incidental catch needs. Decreases in final 2019 TACs compared to the proposed 2019 TACs include Bogoslof pollock, Aleutian Islands (AI) Pacific cod, BS sablefish, AI sablefish, yellowfin sole, arrowtooth flounder, rock sole, flathead sole, AI ‘‘other rockfish,’’ Eastern Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea (EAI/BS) Atka mackerel, Central Aleutian Islands (CAI) Atka mackerel, skates, and sharks. The decreases for AI Pacific cod, EAI/BS and CAI Atka mackerel, BS sablefish, AI sablefish, and ‘‘other rockfish’’ are to account for ABC constraints. The remaining decreases are for anticipated lower incidental catch needs of these species relative to 2018. The changes to TACs between the proposed and final harvest specifications are based on the most recent scientific and economic information and are consistent with the FMP, regulatory obligations, and harvest strategy as described in the proposed harvest specifications, including the upper limit for OY of 2.0 million mt. These changes are compared in Table 1A. Table 1 lists the Council’s recommended final 2019 OFL, ABC, 9003 TAC, initial TAC (ITAC), and CDQ reserve allocations of the BSAI groundfish species or species groups; and Table 2 lists the Council’s recommended final 2020 OFL, ABC, TAC, ITAC, and CDQ reserve allocations of the BSAI groundfish species or species groups. NMFS concurs in these recommendations. These final 2019 and 2020 TAC recommendations for the BSAI are within the OY range established for the BSAI and do not exceed the ABC for any species or species group. The apportionment of TAC amounts among fisheries and seasons is discussed below. TABLE 1—FINAL 2019 OVERFISHING LEVEL (OFL), ACCEPTABLE BIOLOGICAL CATCH (ABC), TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH (TAC), INITIAL TAC (ITAC), AND CDQ RESERVE ALLOCATION OF GROUNDFISH IN THE BSAI 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] 2019 Species Area CDQ 3 ABC TAC Skates ...................................................... Sculpins ................................................... Sharks ...................................................... Octopuses ................................................ BS .................. AI ................... Bogoslof ......... BS .................. AI ................... BS .................. AI ................... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BS .................. AI ................... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BS .................. EAI ................. CAI ................. WAI ................ BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BS/EAI ........... CAI/WAI ......... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BS .................. AI ................... BSAI ............... BS/EAI ........... CAI ................. WAI ................ BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... 3,914,000 64,240 183,080 216,000 27,400 3,221 4,350 290,000 11,362 n/a n/a 82,939 10,965 122,000 80,918 39,880 21,824 61,067 n/a n/a n/a n/a 15,507 676 n/a n/a 722 1,793 n/a n/a 79,200 n/a n/a n/a 51,152 53,201 689 4,769 2,163,000 52,887 137,310 181,000 20,600 1,489 2,008 263,200 9,658 8,431 1,227 70,673 9,260 118,900 66,625 33,600 16,368 50,594 14,675 11,459 8,435 16,025 12,664 555 351 204 541 1,344 956 388 68,500 23,970 14,390 30,140 42,714 39,995 517 3,576 1,397,000 19,000 75 166,475 14,214 1,489 2,008 154,000 5,294 5,125 169 8,000 5,000 47,100 14,500 18,000 6,500 44,069 14,675 11,009 8,385 10,000 6,500 279 75 204 358 663 275 388 57,951 23,970 14,390 19,591 26,000 5,000 125 400 1,257,300 17,100 75 148,662 12,693 1,228 1,632 137,522 4,500 4,356 144 6,800 4,250 42,060 12,949 15,300 5,525 38,723 12,474 9,831 7,488 8,930 5,525 237 64 173 304 564 234 330 51,750 21,405 12,850 17,495 22,100 4,250 106 340 139,700 1,900 ........................ 17,813 1,521 205 339 16,478 n/a 548 ........................ 856 ........................ 5,040 1,552 ........................ ........................ n/a ........................ 1,178 897 1,070 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 6,201 2,565 1,540 2,096 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ Total .................................................. ........................ 5,340,955 3,367,578 2,000,000 1,791,495 195,297 Pollock 4 ................................................... Pacific cod 5 ............................................. Sablefish .................................................. Yellowfin sole ........................................... Greenland turbot ...................................... Arrowtooth flounder ................................. Kamchatka flounder ................................. Rock sole 6 ............................................... Flathead sole 7 ......................................... Alaska plaice ........................................... Other flatfish 8 .......................................... Pacific ocean perch ................................. Northern rockfish ..................................... Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish 9 ........... Shortraker rockfish ................................... Other rockfish 10 ....................................... Atka mackerel .......................................... amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES ITAC 2 OFL 1 These amounts apply to the entire BSAI management area unless otherwise specified. With the exception of pollock, and for the purpose of these harvest specifications, the Bering Sea subarea (BS) includes the Bogoslof District. 2 Except for pollock, the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line and pot gear, and Amendment 80 species (Atka mackerel, yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole, Pacific cod, and Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch), 15 percent of each TAC is put into a non-specified reserve. The ITAC for these species is the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of these reserves. For pollock and Amendment 80 species, ITAC is the non-CDQ allocation of TAC (see footnotes 3 and 4). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 9004 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations 3 For the Amendment 80 species (Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Pacific cod, and Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch), 10.7 percent of the TAC is reserved for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). Twenty percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line gear or pot gear, 7.5 percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to trawl gear, and 10.7 percent of the TACs for Bering Sea Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder are reserved for use by CDQ participants (see § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) and (D)). Aleutian Islands Greenland turbot, ‘‘other flatfish,’’ Alaska plaice, Bering Sea Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, blackspotted/rougheye rockfish, ‘‘other rockfish,’’ skates, sculpins, sharks, and octopuses are not allocated to the CDQ program. 4 Under § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the annual BS pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for the incidental catch allowance (3.7 percent), is further allocated by sector for a pollock directed fishery as follows: inshore—50 percent; catcher/processor—40 percent; and motherships—10 percent. Under § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for the incidental catch allowance (2,400 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a pollock directed fishery. 5 The BS Pacific cod TAC is set to account for the 8 percent, plus 45 mt, of the BS ABC for the State of Alaska’s (State) guideline harvest level in State waters of the BS. The AI Pacific cod TAC is set to account for the 31 percent of the AI ABC for the State guideline harvest level in State waters of the AI. 6 ‘‘Rock sole’’ includes Lepidopsetta polyxystra (Northern rock sole) and Lepidopsetta bilineata (Southern rock sole). 7 ‘‘Flathead sole’’ includes Hippoglossoides elassodon (flathead sole) and Hippoglossoides robustus (Bering flounder). 8 ‘‘Other flatfish’’ includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), Alaska plaice, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, rock sole, and yellowfin sole. 9 ‘‘Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish’’ includes Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted). 10 ‘‘Other rockfish’’ includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, and blackspotted/rougheye rockfish. *Note: Regulatory areas and districts are defined at § 679.2 (BSAI = Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area, BS = Bering Sea subarea, AI = Aleutian Islands subarea, EAI = Eastern Aleutian district, CAI = Central Aleutian district, WAI = Western Aleutian district). TABLE 1a—COMPARISON OF FINAL 2019 AND 2020 WITH PROPOSED 2019 AND 2020 TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH IN THE BSAI [Amounts are in metric tons] 2019 Difference from proposed 2019 Percentage difference from proposed 1,384,200 19,000 500 156,355 14,835 2,061 2,798 156,000 5,125 169 14,000 5,000 49,100 16,500 16,252 4,000 11,499 9,715 7,549 9,117 6,500 75 12,800 ........................ (425) 10,120 (621) (572) (790) (2,000) ........................ ........................ (6,000) ........................ (2,000) (2,000) 1,748 2,500 3,176 1,294 836 883 ........................ ........................ 0.9 ........................ (85.0) 6.5 (4.2) (27.8) (28.2) (1.3) ........................ ........................ (42.9) ........................ (4.1) (12.1) 10.8 62.5 27.6 13.3 11.1 9.7 ........................ ........................ 1,420,000 19,000 75 124,625 14,214 1,994 2,688 166,425 5,125 169 8,000 5,000 57,100 14,500 18,000 6,500 14,274 11,146 8,205 10,000 6,500 75 204 358 275 388 23,970 14,390 19,591 26,000 5,000 125 400 150 150 275 570 33,780 24,895 13,825 27,000 5,000 180 200 54 208 ........................ (182) (9,810) (10,505) 5,766 (1,000) ........................ (55) 200 36.0 138.7 ........................ (31.9) (29.0) (42.2) 41.7 (3.7) ........................ (30.6) 100.0 2,000,000 1,996,375 3,625 0.2 2019 Final TAC Species Area 1 Pollock ...................... BS .............. AI ................ Bogoslof ..... BS .............. AI ................ BS .............. AI ................ BSAI ........... BS .............. AI ................ BSAI ........... BSAI ........... BSAI ........... BSAI ........... BSAI ........... BSAI ........... BS .............. EAI ............. CAI ............. WAI ............ BSAI ........... BS/EAI ........ 1,397,000 19,000 75 166,475 14,214 1,489 2,008 154,000 5,125 169 8,000 5,000 47,100 14,500 18,000 6,500 14,675 11,009 8,385 10,000 6,500 75 Skates ....................... Sculpins .................... Sharks ....................... Octopuses ................. CAI/WAI ..... BSAI ........... BS .............. AI ................ EAI/BS ........ CAI ............. WAI ............ BSAI ........... BSAI ........... BSAI ........... BSAI ........... Total ................... BSAI ........... Pacific cod ................ Sablefish ................... Yellowfin sole ............ Greenland turbot ....... Arrowtooth flounder .. Kamchatka flounder .. Rock sole .................. Flathead sole ............ Alaska plaice ............ Other flatfish ............. Pacific ocean perch .. Northern rockfish ...... Blackspotted and Rougheye rockfish. Shortraker rockfish ... Other rockfish ........... Atka mackerel ........... 2019 Proposed TAC 2020 Difference from proposed 2020 Percentage difference from proposed 1,384,200 19,000 500 156,355 14,835 2,061 2,798 156,000 5,125 169 14,000 5,000 49,100 16,500 16,252 4,000 11,499 9,715 7,549 9,117 6,500 75 35,800 ........................ (425) (31,730) (621) (67) (110) 10,425 ........................ ........................ (6,000) ........................ 8,000 (2,000) 1,748 2,500 2,775 1,431 656 883 ........................ ........................ 2.6 ........................ (85.0) (20.3) (4.2) (3.3) (3.9) 6.7 ........................ ........................ (42.9) ........................ 16.3 (12.1) 10.8 62.5 24.1 14.7 8.7 9.7 ........................ ........................ 204 358 275 388 22,190 13,310 18,135 26,000 5,000 125 400 150 150 275 .................... 33,780 24,895 13,825 27,000 5,000 180 200 54 208 ........................ (182) (11,590) (11,585) 4,310 (1,000) ........................ (55) 200 36.0 138.7 ........................ (31.9) (34.3) (46.5) 31.2 (3.7) ........................ (30.6) 100.0 2,000,000 1,996,375 3,625 0.2 2020 Final TAC 2020 Proposed TAC 1 Bering Sea subarea (BS), Aleutian Islands subarea (AI), Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI), Eastern Aleutian District (EAI), Central Aleutian District (CAI), and Western Aleutian District (WAI). TABLE 2—FINAL 2020 OVERFISHING LEVEL (OFL), ACCEPTABLE BIOLOGICAL CATCH (ABC), TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH (TAC), INITIAL TAC (ITAC), AND CDQ RESERVE ALLOCATION OF GROUNDFISH IN THE BSAI 1 amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES [Amounts are in metric tons] 2020 Species Area Pollock 4 ................................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 BS .................. AI ................... Bogoslof ......... PO 00000 Frm 00052 ITAC 2 OFL ABC TAC 3,082,000 66,981 183,080 1,792,000 55,125 137,310 1,420,000 19,000 75 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 1,278,000 17,100 75 CDQ 3 142,000 1,900 ........................ Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations 9005 TABLE 2—FINAL 2020 OVERFISHING LEVEL (OFL), ACCEPTABLE BIOLOGICAL CATCH (ABC), TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH (TAC), INITIAL TAC (ITAC), AND CDQ RESERVE ALLOCATION OF GROUNDFISH IN THE BSAI 1—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] 2020 Species Area OFL Pacific cod 5 ............................................. ABC ITAC 2 TAC Skates ...................................................... Sculpins ................................................... Sharks ...................................................... Octopuses ................................................ BS .................. AI ................... BS .................. AI ................... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BS .................. AI ................... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BS .................. EAI ................. CAI ................. WAI ................ BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BS/EAI ........... CAI/WAI ......... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BS .................. AI ................... BSAI ............... EAI/BS ........... CAI ................. WAI ................ BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... BSAI ............... 183,000 27,400 4,441 5,997 284,000 10,476 n/a n/a 83,814 11,260 147,500 83,190 37,860 21,824 59,396 n/a n/a n/a n/a 15,180 868 n/a n/a 722 1,793 n/a n/a 73,400 n/a n/a n/a 48,944 53,201 689 4,769 137,000 20,600 1,994 2,688 257,800 8,908 7,777 1,131 71,411 9,509 143,700 68,448 31,900 16,368 49,211 14,274 11,146 8,205 15,586 12,396 715 448 267 541 1,344 956 388 63,400 22,190 13,310 27,900 40,813 39,995 517 3,576 124,625 14,214 1,994 2,688 166,425 5,294 5,125 169 8,000 5,000 57,100 14,500 18,000 6,500 43,625 14,274 11,146 8,205 10,000 6,500 279 75 204 358 663 275 388 53,635 22,190 13,310 18,135 26,000 5,000 125 400 111,290 12,693 847 571 148,618 4,500 4,356 144 6,800 4,250 50,990 12,949 15,300 5,525 38,343 12,133 9,953 7,327 8,930 5,525 237 64 173 304 564 234 330 47,896 19,816 11,886 16,195 22,100 4,250 106 340 13,335 1,521 75 50 17,807 n/a 548 ........................ 856 ........................ 6,110 1,552 ........................ ........................ n/a ........................ 1,193 878 1,070 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 5,739 2,374 1,424 1,940 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ Total .................................................. ........................ 4,491,785 2,967,269 2,000,000 1,789,174 194,634 Sablefish .................................................. Yellowfin sole ........................................... Greenland turbot ...................................... Arrowtooth flounder ................................. Kamchatka flounder ................................. Rock sole 6 ............................................... Flathead sole 7 ......................................... Alaska plaice ........................................... Other flatfish 8 .......................................... Pacific ocean perch ................................. Northern rockfish ..................................... Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish 9 ........... Shortraker rockfish ................................... Other rockfish 10 ....................................... Atka mackerel .......................................... 1 These amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES CDQ 3 amounts apply to the entire BSAI management area unless otherwise specified. With the exception of pollock, and for the purpose of these harvest specifications, the Bering Sea subarea (BS) includes the Bogoslof District. 2 Except for pollock, the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line and pot gear, and Amendment 80 species (Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Pacific cod, and Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch), 15 percent of each TAC is put into a non-specified reserve. The ITAC for these species is the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of these reserves. For pollock and Amendment 80 species, ITAC is the non-CDQ allocation of TAC (see footnotes 3 and 4). 3 For the Amendment 80 species (Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Pacific cod, and Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch), 10.7 percent of the TAC is reserved for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). Twenty percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line gear or pot gear, 7.5 percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to trawl gear, and 10.7 percent of the TACs for Bering Sea Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder are reserved for use by CDQ participants (see § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) and (D)). Aleutian Islands Greenland turbot, ‘‘other flatfish,’’ Alaska plaice, Bering Sea Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, blackspotted/rougheye rockfish, ‘‘other rockfish,’’ skates, sculpins, sharks, and octopuses are not allocated to the CDQ program. 4 Under § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the annual BS pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for the incidental catch allowance (3.7 percent), is further allocated by sector for a pollock directed fishery as follows: inshore—50 percent; catcher/processor—40 percent; and motherships—10 percent. Under § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for the incidental catch allowance (2,400 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a pollock directed fishery. 5 Assuming an increase in the 2020 guideline harvest level based on the actual 2019 harvest, the 2020 BS Pacific cod TAC is set to account for the 9 percent, plus 45 mt, of the BS ABC for the State of Alaska’s (State) guideline harvest level in State waters of the BS. The 2020 AI Pacific cod TAC is set to account for the 31 percent of the AI ABC for the State guideline harvest level in State waters of the AI. 6 ‘‘Rock sole’’ includes Lepidopsetta polyxystra (Northern rock sole) and Lepidopsetta bilineata (Southern rock sole). 7 ‘‘Flathead sole’’ includes Hippoglossoides elassodon (flathead sole) and Hippoglossoides robustus (Bering flounder). 8 ‘‘Other flatfish’’ includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), Alaska plaice, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, rock sole, and yellowfin sole. 9 ‘‘Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish’’ includes Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted). 10 ‘‘Other rockfish’’ includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, and blackspotted/rougheye rockfish. Note: Regulatory areas and districts are defined at § 679.2 (BSAI = Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area, BS = Bering Sea subarea, AI = Aleutian Islands subarea, EAI = Eastern Aleutian district, CAI = Central Aleutian district, WAI = Western Aleutian district). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 9006 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations Groundfish Reserves and the Incidental Catch Allowance (ICA) for Pollock, Atka Mackerel, Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, Yellowfin Sole, and Aleutian Islands Pacific Ocean Perch Section 679.20(b)(1)(i) requires that NMFS reserves 15 percent of the TAC for each target species, except for pollock, hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish, and Amendment 80 species, in a non-specified reserve. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires that NMFS allocate 20 percent of the hookand-line or pot gear allocation of sablefish for the fixed-gear sablefish CDQ reserve for each subarea. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D) requires that NMFS allocate 7.5 percent of the trawl gear allocations of sablefish in the BS and AI and 10.7 percent of the Bering Sea Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder TACs to the respective CDQ reserves. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) requires that NMFS allocate 10.7 percent of the TACs for Atka mackerel, Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole, and Pacific cod to the respective CDQ reserves. Sections 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) and 679.31(a) also require that 10 percent of the Bering Sea pollock TAC be allocated to the pollock CDQ directed fishing allowance (DFA). Sections 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and 679.31(a) require that 10 percent of the Aleutian Islands pollock TAC be allocated to the pollock CDQ DFA. The entire Bogoslof District pollock TAC is allocated as an ICA pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(ii) because the Bogoslof District is closed to directed fishing for pollock by regulation (§ 679.22(a)(7)(i)(B)). With the exception of the hook-and-line or pot gear sablefish CDQ reserve, the regulations do not further apportion the CDQ allocations by gear. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), NMFS allocates a pollock ICA of 3.7 percent of the BS pollock TAC after subtracting the 10 percent CDQ DFA. This allowance is based on NMFS’s examination of the pollock incidental catch, including the incidental catch by CDQ vessels, in target fisheries other than pollock from 2000 through 2018. During this 19-year period, the pollock incidental catch ranged from a low of 2.2 percent in 2006 to a high of 4.6 percent in 2014, with a 19-year average of 3 percent. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), NMFS establishes a pollock ICA of 2,400 mt of the AI pollock TAC after subtracting the 10 percent CDQ DFA. This allowance is based on NMFS’s examination of the pollock incidental catch, including the incidental catch by CDQ vessels, in target fisheries other than pollock from 2003 through 2018. During this 16-year period, the incidental catch of pollock ranged from a low of 5 percent in 2006 to a high of 17 percent in 2014, with a 16-year average of 8 percent. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(8) and (10), NMFS allocates ICAs of 3,000 mt of flathead sole, 6,000 mt of rock sole, 4,000 mt of yellowfin sole, 10 mt of WAI Pacific ocean perch, 60 mt of CAI Pacific ocean perch, 100 mt of EAI Pacific ocean perch, 20 mt of WAI Atka mackerel, 75 mt of CAI Atka mackerel, and 800 mt of EAI and BS Atka mackerel TAC after subtracting the 10.7 percent CDQ reserve. These ICA allowances are based on NMFS’s examination of the incidental catch in other target fisheries from 2003 through 2018. The regulations do not designate the remainder of the non-specified reserve by species or species group. Any amount of the reserve may be apportioned to a target species that contributed to the non-specified reserves during the year, provided that such apportionments are consistent with § 679.20(a)(3) and do not result in overfishing (see § 679.20(b)(1)(i)). The Regional Administrator has determined that the ITACs specified for the species listed in Table 1 need to be supplemented from the non-specified reserve because U.S. fishing vessels have demonstrated the capacity to catch the full TAC allocations. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(b)(3), NMFS is apportioning the amounts shown in Table 3 from the non-specified reserve to increase the ITAC for AI ‘‘other rockfish’’ by 15 percent of the ‘‘other rockfish’’ TAC in 2019 and 2020. TABLE 3—FINAL 2019 AND 2020 APPORTIONMENT OF NON–SPECIFIED RESERVES TO ITAC CATEGORIES [Amounts are in metric tons] amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES Species-area or subarea 2019 ITAC 2019 Reserve amount 2019 Final ITAC 2020 ITAC 2020 Reserve amount 2020 Final ITAC Other rockfish-Aleutian Islands subarea .. 330 58 388 330 58 388 Total .................................................. 330 58 388 330 58 388 Allocation of Pollock TAC Under the American Fisheries Act (AFA) Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) requires that the BS pollock TAC be apportioned as a DFA, after subtracting 10 percent for the CDQ program and 3.7 percent for the ICA, as follows: 50 percent to the inshore sector, 40 percent to the catcher/processor (C/P) sector, and 10 percent to the mothership sector. In the BS, 45 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20–June 10), and 55 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10–November 1) (§§ 679.20(a)(5)(i)(B)(1) and 679.23(e)(2)). The Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation to the Aleut Corporation is the amount of pollock TAC remaining in the AI after VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 subtracting 1,900 mt for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and 2,400 mt for the ICA (§ 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)). In the AI, the total A season apportionment of the TAC (including the AI directed fishery allocation, the CDQ seasonal allowance, and the ICA) may equal up to 40 percent of the ABC for AI pollock, and the remainder of the TAC is allocated to the B season (§ 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(3)). Tables 4 and 5 list these 2019 and 2020 amounts. Section 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(6) sets harvest limits for pollock in the A season (January 20 to June 10) in Areas 543, 542, and 541. In Area 543, the A season pollock harvest limit is no more than 5 percent of the Aleutian Islands pollock ABC. In Area 542, the A season PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 pollock harvest limit is no more than 15 percent of the Aleutian Islands pollock ABC. In Area 541, the A season pollock harvest limit is no more than 30 percent of the Aleutian Islands pollock ABC. Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4) also includes several specific requirements regarding BS pollock allocations. First, it requires that 8.5 percent of the pollock allocated to the C/P sector be available for harvest by AFA catcher vessels (CVs) with C/P sector endorsements, unless the Regional Administrator receives a cooperative contract that allows the distribution of harvest among AFA C/Ps and AFA CVs in a manner agreed to by all members. Second, AFA C/Ps not listed in the AFA are limited to harvesting not more than E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations 0.5 percent of the pollock allocated to the C/P sector. Tables 4 and 5 list the 2019 and 2020 allocations of pollock TAC. Tables 20 through 25 list the AFA C/P and CV harvesting sideboard limits. The tables for the pollock allocations to the BS inshore pollock cooperatives and open access sector will be posted on the Alaska Region website at https://alaska fisheries.noaa.gov. Tables 4 and 5 also list seasonal apportionments of pollock and harvest limits within the Steller Sea Lion Conservation Area (SCA). The harvest of pollock within the SCA, as defined at § 679.22(a)(7)(vii), is limited to no more 9007 than 28 percent of the annual pollock DFA before 12 noon, April 1, as provided in § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(C). The A season pollock SCA harvest limit will be apportioned to each sector in proportion to each sector’s allocated percentage of the DFA. Tables 4 and 5 list these 2019 and 2020 amounts by sector. TABLE 4—FINAL 2019 ALLOCATIONS OF POLLOCK TACS TO THE DIRECTED POLLOCK FISHERIES AND TO THE CDQ DIRECTED FISHING ALLOWANCES (DFA) 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] 2019 A season 1 2019 Allocations Area and sector TAC 1 Bering Sea subarea .............................................................................. CDQ DFA ......................................................................................................... ICA 1 ................................................................................................................. Total Bering Sea non-CDQ DFA ..................................................................... AFA Inshore ..................................................................................................... AFA Catcher/Processors 3 ............................................................................... Catch by C/Ps .......................................................................................... Catch by CVs 3 ......................................................................................... Unlisted C/P Limit 4 ................................................................................... AFA Motherships ............................................................................................. Excessive Harvesting Limit 5 ............................................................................ Excessive Processing Limit 6 ........................................................................... Aleutian Islands subarea ABC ......................................................................... Aleutian Islands subarea TAC 1 ....................................................................... CDQ DFA ......................................................................................................... ICA ................................................................................................................... Aleut Corporation ............................................................................................. Area harvest limit 7 ........................................................................................... 541 ............................................................................................................ 542 ............................................................................................................ 543 ............................................................................................................ Bogoslof District ICA 8 ...................................................................................... 1,397,000 139,700 46,520 1,210,780 605,390 484,312 443,145 41,167 2,422 121,078 211,886 363,234 52,887 19,000 1,900 2,400 14,700 n/a 15,866 7,933 2,644 75 A season DFA n/a 62,865 n/a 544,851 272,425 217,940 199,415 18,525 1,090 54,485 n/a n/a n/a n/a 1,900 1,200 14,700 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a SCA harvest limit 2 n/a 39,116 n/a 339,018 169,509 135,607 n/a n/a n/a 33,902 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 2019 B season 1 B season DFA n/a 76,835 n/a 665,929 332,964 266,372 243,730 22,642 1,332 66,593 n/a n/a n/a n/a 1,200 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC, after subtracting the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (3.7 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: Inshore sector—50 percent, catcher/processor sector (C/P)—40 percent, and mothership sector—10 percent. In the Bering Sea subarea, 45 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20–June 10) and 55 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10–November 1). Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2), the annual Aleutian Islands pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and second for the ICA (2,400 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a pollock directed fishery. In the Aleutian Islands subarea, the A season is allocated up to 40 percent of the ABC for AI pollock. 2 In the Bering Sea subarea, pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(C), no more than 28 percent of each sector’s annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before noon, April 1. 3 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed C/Ps shall be available for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels with a C/P endorsement delivering to listed C/Ps, unless there is a C/P sector cooperative for the year. 4 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the catcher/ processors sector’s allocation of pollock. 5 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6), NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 6 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7), NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 7 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(6), NMFS establishes harvest limits for pollock in the A season in Area 541 of no more than 30 percent, in Area 542 of no more than 15 percent, and in Area 543 of no more than 5 percent of the Aleutian Islands pollock ABC. 8 Pursuant to § 679.22(a)(7)(B), the Bogoslof District is closed to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for incidental catch only and are not apportioned by season or sector. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. TABLE 5—FINAL 2020 ALLOCATIONS OF POLLOCK TACS TO THE DIRECTED POLLOCK FISHERIES AND TO THE CDQ DIRECTED FISHING ALLOWANCES (DFA) 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] 2020 A season 1 2020 Allocations amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES Area and sector Bering Sea subarea TAC 1 .............................................................................. CDQ DFA ......................................................................................................... ICA 1 ................................................................................................................. Total Bering Sea non-CDQ DFA ..................................................................... AFA Inshore ..................................................................................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 1,420,000 142,000 47,286 1,230,714 615,357 A season DFA n/a 63,900 n/a 553,821 276,911 E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 SCA harvest limit 2 n/a 39,760 n/a 344,600 172,300 2020 B season 1 B season DFA n/a 78,100 n/a 676,893 338,446 9008 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 5—FINAL 2020 ALLOCATIONS OF POLLOCK TACS TO THE DIRECTED POLLOCK FISHERIES AND TO THE CDQ DIRECTED FISHING ALLOWANCES (DFA) 1—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] 2020 A season 1 2020 Allocations Area and sector AFA Catcher/Processors 3 ............................................................................... Catch by C/Ps .......................................................................................... Catch by CVs 3 ......................................................................................... Unlisted C/P Limit 4 ................................................................................... AFA Motherships ............................................................................................. Excessive Harvesting Limit 5 ............................................................................ Excessive Processing Limit 6 ........................................................................... Aleutian Islands subarea ABC ......................................................................... Aleutian Islands subarea TAC 1 ....................................................................... CDQ DFA ......................................................................................................... ICA ................................................................................................................... Aleut Corporation ............................................................................................. Area harvest limit 7 541 .................................................................................... 542 ................................................................................................................... 543 ................................................................................................................... Bogoslof District ICA 8 ...................................................................................... A season DFA 492,286 450,441 41,844 2,461 123,071 215,375 369,214 30,803 19,000 1,900 2,400 14,700 9,241 4,620 1,540 500 221,529 202,699 18,830 1,108 55,382 n/a n/a n/a n/a 760 1,200 10,361 n/a n/a n/a n/a SCA harvest limit 2 137,840 n/a n/a n/a 34,460 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 2020 B season 1 B season DFA 270,757 247,743 23,014 1,354 67,689 n/a n/a n/a n/a 1,140 1,200 4,339 n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC, after subtracting the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (3.7 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: Inshore sector—50 percent, catcher/processor sector (C/P)—40 percent, and mothership sector—10 percent. In the Bering Sea subarea, 45 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20–June 10) and 55 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10–November 1). Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2), the annual Aleutian Islands pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and second for the ICA (2,400 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a pollock directed fishery. In the Aleutian Islands subarea, the A season is allocated up to 40 percent of the ABC for AI pollock. 2 In the Bering Sea subarea, pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(C), no more than 28 percent of each sector’s annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before noon, April 1. 3 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed C/Ps shall be available for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels with a C/P endorsement delivering to listed C/Ps, unless there is a C/P sector cooperative for the year. 4 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the catcher/ processors sector’s allocation of pollock. 5 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6), NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 6 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7), NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 7 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(6), NMFS establishes harvest limits for pollock in the A season in Area 541 of no more than 30 percent, in Area 542 of no more than 15 percent, and in Area 543 of no more than 5 percent of the Aleutian Islands pollock ABC. 8 Pursuant to § 679.22(a)(7)(B), the Bogoslof District is closed to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for incidental catch only and are not apportioned by season or sector. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES Allocation of the Atka Mackerel TACs Section 679.20(a)(8) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors, after subtracting the CDQ reserves, ICAs for the BSAI trawl limited access sector and non-trawl gear sector, and the jig gear allocation (Tables 6 and 7). The percentage of the ITAC for Atka mackerel allocated to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is listed in Table 33 to 50 CFR part 679 and in § 679.91. Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(8)(i), up to 2 percent of the EAI and the BS Atka mackerel ITAC may be allocated to vessels using jig gear. The percent of this allocation is recommended annually by the Council based on several criteria, including, among other criteria, the anticipated harvest capacity of the jig gear fleet. The Council recommended, and NMFS approves, a 0.5 percent allocation of the Atka mackerel ITAC in the EAI and BS to the jig gear sector in 2019 and 2020. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) apportions the Atka mackerel TAC into two equal seasonal allowances. Section 679.23(e)(3) sets the first seasonal allowance for directed fishing with trawl gear from January 20 through June 10 (A season), and the second seasonal allowance from June 10 through December 31 (B season). Section 679.23(e)(4)(iii) applies Atka mackerel seasons to CDQ Atka mackerel trawl fishing. The ICAs and jig gear allocations are not apportioned by season. Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(i) and (ii) limits Atka mackerel catch within waters 0 nm to 20 nm of Steller sea lion sites listed in Table 6 to 50 CFR part 679 and located west of 178° W longitude to no more than 60 percent of the annual TACs in Areas 542 and 543, and equally divides the annual TACs between the A and B seasons as defined at § 679.23(e)(3). Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(2) requires that the annual TAC in Area 543 will be no more PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 than 65 percent of the ABC in Area 543. Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(D) requires that any unharvested Atka mackerel A season allowance that is added to the B season be prohibited from being harvested within waters 0 nm to 20 nm of Steller sea lion sites listed in Table 6 to 50 CFR part 679 and located in Areas 541, 542, and 543. Tables 6 and 7 list these 2019 and 2020 Atka mackerel seasonal and area allowances, and the sector allocations. One Amendment 80 cooperative has formed for the 2019 fishing year. Because all Amendment 80 vessels are part of the sole Amendment 80 cooperative, no allocation to the Amendment 80 limited access sector is required for 2019. The 2020 allocations for Atka mackerel between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2019. E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations 9009 TABLE 6—FINAL 2019 SEASONAL AND SPATIAL ALLOWANCES, GEAR SHARES, CDQ RESERVE, INCIDENTAL CATCH ALLOWANCE, AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE BSAI ATKA MACKEREL TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] 2019 Allocation by area Sector 1 Season 2 3 4 TAC ........................................................ CDQ reserve .......................................... n/a ......................................................... Total ...................................................... A ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... B ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... n/a ......................................................... Total ...................................................... Total ...................................................... Total ...................................................... A ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... B ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... Total ...................................................... A ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... B ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... Non-CDQ TAC ....................................... ICA ......................................................... Jig 7 ........................................................ BSAI trawl limited access ...................... Amendment 80 sector ............................ Eastern Aleutian district/Bering Sea Central Aleutian District 5 23,970 2,565 1,282 n/a 1,282 n/a 21,405 800 103 2,050 1,025 n/a 1,025 n/a 18,452 9,226 n/a 9,226 n/a Western Aleutian District 14,390 1,540 770 462 770 462 12,850 75 19,591 2,096 1,048 629 1,048 629 17,495 20 1,278 639 383 639 383 11,498 5,749 3,449 5,749 3,449 17,475 8,737 5,242 8,737 5,242 1 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtracting the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs, to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to 50 CFR part 679 and § 679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). 2 Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery. 3 The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. 4 Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from January 20 to June 10 and the B season from June 10 to December 31. 5 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(i) limits no more than 60 percent of the annual TACs in Areas 542 and 543 to be caught inside of Steller sea lion critical habitat; section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(ii) equally divides the annual TACs between the A and B seasons as defined at § 679.23(e)(3); and section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(2) requires the TAC in Area 543 shall be no more than 65 percent of ABC in Area 543. 6 Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtracting the CDQ reserve and the ICA. NMFS sets the amount of this allocation for 2019 at 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. TABLE 7—FINAL 2020 SEASONAL AND SPATIAL ALLOWANCES, GEAR SHARES, CDQ RESERVE, INCIDENTAL CATCH ALLOWANCE, AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATION OF THE BSAI ATKA MACKEREL TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] 2020 Allocation by area Sector 1 Season 2 3 4 TAC ........................................................ CDQ reserve .......................................... n/a ......................................................... Total ...................................................... A ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... B ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... n/a ......................................................... Total ...................................................... Total ...................................................... Total ...................................................... A ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... B ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... Total ...................................................... A ............................................................ Critical Habitat ....................................... B ............................................................ amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES non-CDQ TAC ........................................ ICA ......................................................... Jig 7 ........................................................ BSAI trawl limited access ...................... Amendment 80 sectors 7 ........................ VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4700 Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea 5 Sfmt 4700 22,190 2,374 1,187 n/a 1,187 n/a 19,816 800 95 1,892 946 n/a 946 n/a 17,029 8,514 n/a 8,514 E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM Central Aleutian District 5 Western Aleutian District 5 13,310 1,424 712 427 712 427 11,886 75 .............................. 1,181 591 354 591 354 10,630 5,315 3,189 5,315 18,135 1,940 970 582 970 582 16,195 20 .............................. .............................. .............................. .............................. .............................. 16,175 8,087 4,852 8,087 13MRR1 9010 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 7—FINAL 2020 SEASONAL AND SPATIAL ALLOWANCES, GEAR SHARES, CDQ RESERVE, INCIDENTAL CATCH ALLOWANCE, AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATION OF THE BSAI ATKA MACKEREL TAC—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] 2020 Allocation by area Sector 1 Season 2 3 4 Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea 5 Critical Habitat ....................................... Central Aleutian District 5 n/a 3,189 Western Aleutian District 5 4,852 1 Section amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtracting the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs, to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to 50 CFR part 679 and § 679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see §§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). 2 Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery. 3 The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. 4 Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from January 20 to June 10 and the B season from June 10 to December 31. 5 Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(i) limits no more than 60 percent of the annual TACs in Areas 542 and 543 to be caught inside of Steller sea lion critical habitat; section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(ii) equally divides the annual TACs between the A and B seasons as defined at § 679.23(e)(3); and section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(2) requires the TAC in Area 543 shall be no more than 65 percent of ABC in Area 543. 6 Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtracting the CDQ reserve and the ICA. NMFS sets the amount of this allocation for 2020 at 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season. 7 The 2020 allocations for Atka mackerel between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2019. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. Allocation of the Pacific Cod TAC The Council separated Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands subarea OFLs, ABCs, and TACs for Pacific cod in 2014 (79 FR 12108, March 4, 2014). Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) allocates 10.7 percent of the Bering Sea TAC and the Aleutian Islands TAC to the CDQ program. After CDQ allocations have been deducted from the respective Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pacific cod TACs, the remaining Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pacific cod TACs are combined for calculating further BSAI Pacific cod sector allocations. If the non-CDQ Pacific cod TAC is or will be reached in either the Bering Sea or the Aleutian Islands subareas, NMFS will prohibit non-CDQ directed fishing for Pacific cod in that subarea as provided in § 679.20(d)(1)(iii). Section 679.20(a)(7)(i) and (ii) allocates to the non-CDQ sectors the Pacific cod TAC in the combined BSAI TAC, after subtracting 10.7 percent for the CDQ program, as follows: 1.4 percent to vessels using jig gear; 2.0 percent to hook-and-line or pot CVs less than 60 ft (18.3 m) length overall (LOA); 0.2 percent to hook-and-line CVs greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA; 48.7 percent to hook-and-line C/Ps; 8.4 percent to pot CVs greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA; 1.5 percent to pot C/Ps; 2.3 percent to AFA trawl C/Ps; 13.4 percent to Amendment 80 sector; and 22.1 percent to trawl CVs. The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. For 2019 and 2020, the Regional VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 Administrator establishes an ICA of 400 mt based on anticipated incidental catch by these sectors in other fisheries. The ITAC allocation of Pacific cod to the Amendment 80 sector is established in Table 33 to 50 CFR part 679 and § 679.91. One Amendment 80 cooperative has formed for the 2019 fishing year. Because all Amendment 80 vessels are part of the sole Amendment 80 cooperative, no allocation to the Amendment 80 limited access sector is required for 2019. The 2020 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2019. The sector allocations of Pacific cod are apportioned into seasonal allowances to disperse the Pacific cod fisheries over the fishing year (see §§ 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B), 679.20(a)(7)(iv)(A), and 679.23(e)(5)). In accordance with § 679.20(a)(7)(iv)(B) and (C), any unused portion of a seasonal Pacific cod allowance for any sector, except the jig sector, will become available at the beginning of that sector’s next seasonal allowance. Section 679.20(a)(7)(vii) requires that the Regional Administrator establish an Area 543 Pacific cod harvest limit based on Pacific cod abundance in Area 543. Based on the 2018 stock assessment, the Regional Administrator determined the Pacific cod abundance in Area 543 to be 15.7 percent for 2019 and 2020. NMFS will first subtract the State GHL Pacific cod amount from the Aleutian Islands Pacific cod ABC. Then NMFS will PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 determine the harvest limit in Area 543 by multiplying the percentage of Pacific cod estimated in Area 543 by the remaining ABC for Aleutian Islands Pacific cod. Based on these calculations, the Area 543 harvest limit is 2,232 mt for 2019 and 2020. Section 679.20(a)(7)(viii) requires specification of annual Pacific cod allocations for the Aleutian Islands nonCDQ ICA, non-CDQ DFA, CV Harvest Set-Aside, and Unrestricted Fishery, as well as the Bering Sea Trawl CV ASeason Sector Limitation. The CV Harvest Set-Aside is a portion of the AI Pacific cod TAC that is available for harvest by catcher vessels directed fishing for AI Pacific cod and delivering their catch for processing to an AI shoreplant. If NMFS receives notification of intent to process AI Pacific cod from either the City of Adak or the City of Atka by October 31 of the previous year, the harvest limits in Tables 9a or 9b will be in effect in the following year. Prior to October 31, 2018, NMFS received timely and complete notice from the City of Adak indicating an intent to process AI Pacific cod in 2019. Accordingly, the harvest limits in Table 9a will be in effect in 2019, subject to the requirements outlined in § 679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E). If less than 1,000 mt of the Aleutian Islands CV Harvest Set-Aside is delivered at Aleutian Islands shoreplants by February 28, 2019, then the Aleutian Islands CV Harvest Set-Aside is lifted and the Bering Sea Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation is suspended. If the entire Aleutian Islands CV Harvest Set-Aside E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 9011 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations is fully harvested and delivered to Aleutian Islands shoreplants before March 15, 2019, then the Bering Sea Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation will be suspended for the remainder of the fishing year. If NMFS receives notice of intent to process AI Pacific cod from either the City of Adak or the City of Atka prior to October 31, 2019, for the 2020 fishing year, Table 9b will be in effect in 2020, subject to the requirements outlined in § 679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E). The CDQ and non-CDQ seasonal allowances by gear based on the 2019 and 2020 Pacific cod TACs are listed in Tables 8 and 9, and are based on the sector allocation percentages of Pacific cod set forth at § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) and (a)(7)(iv)(A); and the seasons set forth at § 679.23(e)(5). TABLE 8—FINAL 2019 GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] 2019 Share of gear sector total 2019 Share of sector total n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 100 60.8 n/a n/a 48.7 ........................ 0.2 166,475 17,813 148,662 14,214 1,521 12,693 2,232 161,355 98,104 400 97,704 n/a ........................ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 78,260 ........................ 321 n/a see n/a n/a see n/a n/a n/a n/a see n/a Jan Jun Jan .................................................... § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) .................... .................................................... .................................................... § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) .................... .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(B) ................... .................................................... 1–Jun 10 ................................... 10–Dec 31 ................................. 1–Jun 10 ................................... n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 39,912 38,347 164 ........................ 1.5 ........................ 8.4 ........................ 2.0 ........................ n/a ........................ n/a ........................ n/a ........................ 2,410 ........................ 13,499 ........................ 3,214 Jun 10–Dec 31 ................................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................................... Sept 1–Dec 31 ................................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................................... Sept 1–Dec 31 ................................. n/a .................................................... 157 1,229 1,181 6,884 6,614 n/a 22.1 ........................ ........................ 2.3 ........................ ........................ 13.4 ........................ ........................ 1.4 ........................ ........................ 35,660 ........................ ........................ 3,711 ........................ ........................ 21,622 ........................ ........................ 2,259 ........................ ........................ n/a ........................ ........................ n/a ........................ ........................ n/a ........................ ........................ n/a ........................ ........................ Jan 20–Apr 1 .................................... Apr 1–Jun 10 .................................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................................... Jan 20–Apr 1 .................................... Apr 1–Jun 10 .................................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................................... Jan 20–Apr 1 .................................... Apr 1–Jun 10 .................................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................................... Jan 1–Apr 30 .................................... Apr 30–Aug 31 ................................. Aug 31–Dec 31 ................................ 26,388 3,923 5,349 2,783 928 ........................ 16,216 5,405 ........................ 1,355 452 452 Gear sector Percent BS TAC ............................................. BS CDQ ............................................ BS non-CDQ TAC ............................. AI TAC .............................................. AI CDQ .............................................. AI non-CDQ TAC .............................. Western Aleutian Island Limit ........... Total BSAI non-CDQ TAC 1 .............. Total hook-and-line/pot gear ............. Hook-and-line/pot ICA 2 .................... Hook-and-line/pot sub-total ............... Hook-and-line catcher/processor ...... Hook-and-line catcher vessel ≥ 60 ft LOA. Pot catcher/processor ....................... Pot catcher vessel ≥ 60 ft LOA ........ Catcher vessel < 60 ft LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. Trawl catcher vessel ......................... AFA trawl catcher/processor ............. Amendment 80 .................................. Jig ...................................................... 2019 Seasonal apportionment Seasons Amount 1 The gear shares and seasonal allowances for BSAI Pacific cod TAC are based on the sum of the BS and AI Pacific cod TACs, after the subtraction of CDQ. If the TAC for Pacific cod in either the AI or BS is reached, then directed fishing for Pacific cod in that subarea will be prohibited, even if a BSAI allowance remains. 2 The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator approves an ICA of 400 mt for 2019 based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. TABLE 9—FINAL 2020 GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD TAC [Amounts are in metric tons] amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES Gear sector Percent BS TAC ............................................. BS CDQ ............................................ BS non-CDQ TAC ............................. AI TAC .............................................. AI CDQ .............................................. AI non-CDQ TAC .............................. Western Aleutian Island Limit ........... Total BSAI non-CDQ TAC 1 .............. Total hook-and-line/pot gear ............. Hook-and-line/pot ICA 2 .................... Hook-and-line/pot sub-total ............... VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 2020 Share of gear sector total 2020 Share of sector total 124,625 13,335 111,290 14,214 1,521 12,693 2,232 123,983 75,382 400 74,982 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 60.8 n/a n/a PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 2020 Seasonal apportionment Seasons n/a see n/a n/a see n/a n/a n/a n/a see n/a .................................................... § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) .................... .................................................... .................................................... § 679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) .................... .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(B) ................... .................................................... E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 Amount n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 9012 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 9—FINAL 2020 GEAR SHARES AND SEASONAL ALLOWANCES OF THE BSAI PACIFIC COD TAC—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] 2020 Share of gear sector total 2020 Share of sector total 48.7 ........................ 0.2 n/a ........................ n/a 60,059 ........................ 247 Jan 1–Jun 10 ................................... Jun 10–Dec 31 ................................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................................... 30,630 29,429 126 ........................ 1.5 ........................ 8.4 ........................ 2.0 ........................ n/a ........................ n/a ........................ n/a ........................ 1,850 ........................ 10,359 ........................ 2,467 Jun 10–Dec 31 ................................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................................... Sept 1–Dec 31 ................................. Jan 1–Jun 10 ................................... Sept 1–Dec 31 ................................. n/a .................................................... 121 943 906 5,283 5,076 n/a 22.1 ........................ ........................ 2.3 ........................ ........................ 13.4 ........................ ........................ 1.4 ........................ ........................ 27,400 ........................ ........................ 2,852 ........................ ........................ 16,614 ........................ ........................ 1,736 ........................ ........................ n/a ........................ ........................ n/a ........................ ........................ n/a ........................ ........................ n/a ........................ ........................ Jan 20–Apr 1 .................................... Apr 1–Jun 10 .................................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................................... Jan 20–Apr 1 .................................... Apr 1–Jun 10 .................................... Jun 10–Nov 1 ................................... Jan 20–Apr 1 .................................... Apr 1–Jun 10 .................................... Jun 10–Dec 31 ................................. Jan 1–Apr 30 .................................... Apr 30–Aug 31 ................................. Aug 31–Dec 31 ................................ 20,276 3,014 4,110 2,139 713 ........................ 12,460 4,153 ........................ 1,041 347 347 Gear sector Percent Hook-and-line catcher/processor ...... Hook-and-line catcher vessel ≥ 60 ft LOA. Pot catcher/processor ....................... Pot catcher vessel ≥ 60 ft LOA ........ Catcher vessel < 60 ft LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. Trawl catcher vessel ......................... AFA trawl catcher/processor ............. Amendment 80 .................................. Jig ...................................................... 2020 Seasonal apportionment Seasons Amount 1 The gear shares and seasonal allowances for BSAI Pacific cod TAC are based on the sum of the BS and AI Pacific cod TACs, after the subtraction of CDQ. If the TAC for Pacific cod in either the AI or BS is reached, then directed fishing for Pacific cod in that subarea will be prohibited, even if a BSAI allowance remains. 2 The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator approves an ICA of 400 mt for 2020 based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. TABLE 9a—2019 BSAI A-SEASON PACIFIC COD ALLOCATIONS AND LIMITS IF REQUIREMENTS IN § 679.20(A)(7)(VIII) ARE MET 2019 Allocations and limits under Aleutian Islands CV Harvest Set-Aside Amount (mt) AI non-CDQ TAC ................................................................................................................................................................................. AI ICA .................................................................................................................................................................................................. AI DFA ................................................................................................................................................................................................. AI CV Harvest Set-Aside 1 ................................................................................................................................................................... AI Unrestricted Fishery 2 ...................................................................................................................................................................... BSAI Trawl CV A-Season Allocation ................................................................................................................................................... BSAI Trawl CV A-Season Allocation minus Sector Limitation 3 .......................................................................................................... BS Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation ........................................................................................................................................... 12,693 2,500 10,193 5,000 5,193 26,388 21,388 5,000 1 Prior to March 15, 2019, only catcher vessels that deliver their catch of AI Pacific cod to AI shoreplants for processing may directed fish for that portion of the AI Pacific cod non–CDQ DFA that is specified as the AI CV Harvest Set–Aside, unless lifted because the requirements pursuant to § 679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E) were not met. 2 Prior to March 15, 2019, vessels otherwise authorized to directed fish for Pacific cod in the AI may directed fish for that portion of the AI Pacific cod non–CDQ DFA that is specified as the AI Unrestricted Fishery. 3 This is the amount of the BSAI trawl CV A-season allocation that may be harvested in the Bering Sea prior to March 21, 2019, unless the BS Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation is suspended for the remainder of the fishing year because the requirements pursuant to § 679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E) were not met. TABLE 9b—2020 BSAI A-SEASON PACIFIC COD ALLOCATIONS AND LIMITS IF REQUIREMENTS IN § 679.20(A)(7)(VIII) ARE MET amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES 2020 Allocations and limits under Aleutian Islands CV Harvest Set-Aside Amount (mt) AI non-CDQ TAC ................................................................................................................................................................................. AI ICA .................................................................................................................................................................................................. AI DFA ................................................................................................................................................................................................. AI CV Harvest Set-Aside 1 ................................................................................................................................................................... AI Unrestricted Fishery 2 ...................................................................................................................................................................... BSAI Trawl CV A-Season Allocation ................................................................................................................................................... BSAI Trawl CV A-Season Allocation minus Sector Limitation 3 .......................................................................................................... BS Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation ........................................................................................................................................... 12,693 2,500 10,193 5,000 5,193 20,493 15,493 5,000 1 Prior to March 15, 2020, only catcher vessels that deliver their catch of AI Pacific cod to AI shoreplants for processing may directed fish for that portion of the AI Pacific cod non–CDQ DFA that is specified as the AI CV Harvest Set–Aside, unless lifted because the requirements pursuant to § 679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E) were not met. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations 9013 2 Prior to March 15, 2020, vessels otherwise authorized to directed fish for Pacific cod in the AI may directed fish for that portion of the AI Pacific cod non–CDQ DFA that is specified as the AI Unrestricted Fishery. 3 This is the amount of the BSAI trawl CV A-season allocation that may be harvested in the Bering Sea prior to March 21, 2020, unless the BS Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation is suspended for the remainder of the fishing year because the requirements pursuant to § 679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E) were not met. Sablefish Gear Allocation Section 679.20(a)(4)(iii) and (iv) require allocation of the sablefish TAC for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands subareas between trawl gear and hookand-line or pot gear sectors. Gear allocations of the TAC for the BS are 50 percent for trawl gear and 50 percent for hook-and-line or pot gear. Gear allocations of the TAC for the AI are 25 percent for trawl gear and 75 percent for hook-and-line or pot gear. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires that NMFS apportions 20 percent of the hook-andline or pot gear allocation of sablefish to the CDQ reserve for each subarea. Also, § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D)(1) requires that 7.5 percent of the trawl gear allocation of sablefish from the non-specified reserves, established under § 679.20(b)(1)(i), be assigned to the CDQ reserve. The Council recommended that only trawl sablefish TAC be established biennially. The harvest specifications for the hook-and-line gear or pot gear sablefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) fisheries are limited to the 2019 fishing year to ensure those fisheries are conducted concurrently with the halibut IFQ fishery. Concurrent sablefish and halibut IFQ fisheries reduce the potential for discards of halibut and sablefish in those fisheries. The sablefish IFQ fisheries remain closed at the beginning of each fishing year until the final harvest specifications for the sablefish IFQ fisheries are in effect. Table 10 lists the 2019 and 2020 gear allocations of the sablefish TAC and CDQ reserve amounts. TABLE 10—FINAL 2019 AND 2020 GEAR SHARES AND CDQ RESERVE OF BSAI SABLEFISH TACS [Amounts are in metric tons] Subarea and gear Percent of TAC Bering Sea Trawl 1 ................... Hook-and-line/pot gear 2 ................. Total ...................... Aleutian Islands Trawl 1 ................... Hook-and-line/pot gear 2 ................. Total ...................... 2019 Share of TAC 2019 CDQ reserve 2019 ITAC 2020 Share of TAC 2020 ITAC 2020 CDQ reserve 50 745 633 56 997 847 75 50 100 745 1,489 596 1,228 149 205 n/a 997 n/a 847 n/a 75 25 502 427 38 672 571 50 75 100 1,506 2,008 1,205 1,632 301 339 n/a 672 n/a 571 n/a 50 1 Except for the sablefish hook-and-line and pot gear allocation, 15 percent of TAC is apportioned to the non-specific reserve (§ 679.20(b)(1)(i)). The ITAC is the remainder of the TAC after subtracting these reserves. 2 For the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to vessels using hook-and-line or pot gear, 20 percent of the allocated TAC is reserved for use by CDQ participants (§ 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B)). The Council recommended that specifications for the hook-and-line gear sablefish IFQ fisheries be limited to one year. Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. Allocation of the Aleutian Islands Pacific Ocean Perch, and BSAI Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole TACs Section 679.20(a)(10)(i) and (ii) require that NMFS allocate Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole ITACs between the Amendment 80 sector and the BSAI trawl limited access sector, after subtracting 10.7 percent for the CDQ reserves and ICAs for the BSAI trawl limited access sector and vessels using non-trawl gear. The allocation of the ITACs for Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole to the Amendment 80 sector are established in accordance with Tables 33 and 34 to 50 CFR part 679 and § 679.91. One Amendment 80 cooperative has formed for the 2019 fishing year. Because all Amendment 80 vessels are part of the sole Amendment 80 cooperative, no allocation to the Amendment 80 limited access sector is required for 2019. The 2020 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2019. Tables 11 and 12 list the 2019 and 2020 allocations of the Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole TACs. TABLE 11—FINAL 2019 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA (CDQ) RESERVES, INCIDENTAL CATCH AMOUNTS (ICAS), AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH, AND BSAI FLATHEAD SOLE, ROCK SOLE, AND YELLOWFIN SOLE TACS amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES [Amounts are in metric tons] Pacific ocean perch Sector Eastern Aleutian District TAC .......................................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 11,009 PO 00000 Frm 00061 Central Aleutian District Western Aleutian District 8,385 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 10,000 Flathead sole Rock sole Yellowfin sole BSAI BSAI BSAI 14,500 E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 47,100 154,000 9014 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 11—FINAL 2019 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA (CDQ) RESERVES, INCIDENTAL CATCH AMOUNTS (ICAS), AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH, AND BSAI FLATHEAD SOLE, ROCK SOLE, AND YELLOWFIN SOLE TACS—Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] Pacific ocean perch Sector Eastern Aleutian District CDQ ......................................................... ICA ........................................................... BSAI trawl limited access ........................ Amendment 80 ......................................... Central Aleutian District 1,178 100 973 8,758 Western Aleutian District 897 60 743 6,685 1,070 10 178 8,742 Flathead sole Rock sole Yellowfin sole BSAI BSAI BSAI 1,552 3,000 ........................ 9,949 5,040 6,000 ........................ 36,060 16,478 4,000 18,351 115,171 Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. TABLE 12—FINAL 2020 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA (CDQ) RESERVES, INCIDENTAL CATCH AMOUNTS (ICAS), AND AMENDMENT 80 ALLOCATIONS OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH, AND BSAI FLATHEAD SOLE, ROCK SOLE, AND YELLOWFIN SOLE TACS [Amounts are in metric tons] Pacific ocean perch Sector Eastern Aleutian District TAC .......................................................... CDQ ......................................................... ICA ........................................................... BSAI trawl limited access ........................ Amendment 801 ....................................... Central Aleutian District 11,146 1,193 100 985 8,868 Western Aleutian District 8,205 878 60 727 6,540 10,000 1,070 10 178 8,742 Flathead sole Rock sole Yellowfin sole BSAI BSAI BSAI 14,500 1,552 3,000 ........................ 9,949 57,100 6,110 6,000 ........................ 44,990 166,425 17,807 4,000 22,789 121,828 1 The 2020 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2019. Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. Section 679.2 defines the ABC surplus for flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole as the difference between the annual ABC and TAC for each species. Section 679.20(b)(1)(iii) establishes ABC reserves for flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole. The ABC surpluses and the ABC reserves are necessary to mitigate the operational variability, environmental conditions, and economic factors that may constrain the CDQ groups and the Amendment 80 cooperatives from achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield in the BSAI groundfish fisheries. NMFS, after consultation with the Council, may set the ABC reserve at or below the ABC surplus for each species, thus maintaining the TAC below ABC limits. An amount equal to 10.7 percent of the ABC reserves will be allocated as CDQ ABC reserves for flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole. Section 679.31(b)(4) establishes the annual allocations of CDQ ABC reserves among the CDQ groups. The Amendment 80 ABC reserves shall be the ABC reserves minus the CDQ ABC reserves. Section 679.91(i)(2) establishes each Amendment 80 cooperative ABC reserve to be the ratio of each cooperatives’ quota share units and the total Amendment 80 quota share units, multiplied by the Amendment 80 ABC reserve for each respective species. Table 13 lists the 2019 and 2020 ABC surplus and ABC reserves for BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole. TABLE 13—FINAL 2019 AND 2020 ABC SURPLUS, ABC RESERVES, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT QUOTA (CDQ) ABC RESERVES, AND AMENDMENT 80 ABC RESERVES IN THE BSAI FOR FLATHEAD SOLE, ROCK SOLE, AND YELLOWFIN SOLE [Amounts are in metric tons] 2019 Flathead sole amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES Sector ABC .......................................................... TAC .......................................................... ABC surplus ............................................. ABC reserve ............................................. CDQ ABC reserve ................................... Amendment 80 ABC reserve ................... 66,625 14,500 52,125 52,125 5,577 46,548 2019 Rock sole 2019 Yellowfin sole 118,900 47,100 71,800 71,800 7,683 64,117 263,200 154,000 109,200 109,200 11,684 97,516 2020 1 Flathead sole 68,448 14,500 53,948 53,948 5,772 48,176 2020 1 Rock sole 143,700 57,100 86,600 86,600 9,266 77,334 2020 1 Yellowfin sole 257,800 166,425 91,375 91,375 9,777 81,598 1 The 2020 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2019. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES PSC Limits for Halibut, Salmon, Crab, and Herring Section 679.21(b), (e), (f), and (g) sets forth the BSAI PSC limits. Pursuant to § 679.21(b)(1), the annual BSAI halibut PSC limits total 3,515 mt. Section 679.21(b)(1) allocates 315 mt of the halibut PSC limit as the PSQ reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program, 1,745 mt of the halibut PSC limit for the Amendment 80 sector, 745 mt of the halibut PSC limit for the BSAI trawl limited access sector, and 710 mt of the halibut PSC limit for the BSAI non-trawl sector. Section 679.21(b)(1)(iii)(A) and (B) authorizes apportionment of the BSAI non-trawl halibut PSC limit into PSC allowances among six fishery categories in Table 17, and § 679.21(b)(1)(ii)(A) and (B), (e)(3)(i)(B), and (e)(3)(iv) requires apportionment of the trawl PSC limits in Tables 15 and 16 into PSC allowances among seven fishery categories. Pursuant to Section 3.6 of the FMP, the Council recommends, and NMFS agrees, that certain specified non-trawl fisheries be exempt from the halibut PSC limit. As in past years, after consultation with the Council, NMFS exempts pot gear, jig gear, and the sablefish IFQ hook-and-line gear fishery categories from halibut bycatch restrictions for the following reasons: (1) The pot gear fisheries have low halibut bycatch mortality; (2) NMFS estimates halibut mortality for the jig gear fleet to be negligible because of the small size of the fishery and the selectivity of the gear; and (3) the sablefish and halibut IFQ fisheries have low halibut bycatch mortality because the IFQ program requires that legal-size halibut be retained by vessels using hook-and-line gear if a halibut IFQ permit holder or a hired master is aboard and is holding unused halibut IFQ for that vessel category and the IFQ regulatory area in which the vessel is operating (§ 679.7(f)(11)). The 2018 total groundfish catch for the pot gear fishery in the BSAI was 28,662 mt, with an associated halibut bycatch mortality of 20 mt. The 2018 jig gear fishery harvested about 56 mt of groundfish. Most vessels in the jig gear fleet are exempt from observer coverage requirements. As a result, observer data are not available on halibut bycatch in the jig gear fishery. As mentioned above, NMFS estimates a negligible amount of halibut bycatch mortality because of the selective nature of jig gear and the low mortality rate of halibut caught with jig gear and released. Under § 679.21(f)(2), NMFS annually allocates portions of either 33,318, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 45,000, 47,591, or 60,000 Chinook salmon PSC limits among the AFA sectors, depending on past bycatch performance, on whether Chinook salmon bycatch incentive plan agreements (IPAs) are formed, and on whether NMFS determines it is a low Chinook salmon abundance year. NMFS will determine that it is a low Chinook salmon abundance year when abundance of Chinook salmon in western Alaska is less than or equal to 250,000 Chinook salmon. The State of Alaska provides to NMFS an estimate of Chinook salmon abundance using the 3System Index for western Alaska based on the Kuskokwim, Unalakleet, and Upper Yukon aggregate stock grouping. If an AFA sector participates in an approved IPA and has not exceeded its performance standard under § 679.21(f)(6), and if it is not a low Chinook salmon abundance year, NMFS will allocate a portion of the 60,000 Chinook salmon PSC limit to that sector as specified in § 679.21(f)(3)(iii)(A). If no IPA is approved, or if the sector has exceeded its performance standard under § 679.21(f)(6), and if it is not a low abundance year, NMFS will allocate a portion of the 47,591 Chinook salmon PSC limit to that sector as specified in § 679.21(f)(3)(iii)(C). If an AFA sector participates in an approved IPA and has not exceeded its performance standard under § 679.21(f)(6), in a low abundance year, NMFS will allocate a portion of the 45,000 Chinook salmon PSC limit to that sector as specified in § 679.21(f)(3)(iii)(B). If no IPA is approved, or if the sector has exceeded its performance standard under § 679.21(f)(6), in a low abundance year, NMFS will allocate a portion of the 33,318 Chinook salmon PSC limit to that sector as specified in § 679.21(f)(3)(iii)(D). NMFS has determined that 2018 was a low Chinook salmon abundance year, based on the State’s estimate that Chinook salmon abundance in western Alaska is less than 250,000 Chinook salmon. Therefore, in 2019, the Chinook salmon PSC limit is 45,000 Chinook salmon, allocated to each sector as specified in § 679.21(f)(3)(iii)(B). The AFA sector Chinook salmon allocations are also seasonally apportioned with 70 percent of the allocation for the A season pollock fishery, and 30 percent of the allocation for the B season pollock fishery (§§ 679.21(f)(3)(i) and 679.23(e)(2)). In 2019, the Chinook salmon bycatch performance standard under § 679.21(f)(6) is 33,318 Chinook salmon, allocated to each sector as specified in § 679.21(f)(3)(iii)(D). NMFS publishes the approved IPAs, allocations, and reports at https://alaska PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 9015 fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/ bycatch/default.htm. Section 679.21(g)(2)(i) specifies 700 fish as the 2019 and 2020 Chinook salmon PSC limit for the AI pollock fishery. Section 679.21(g)(2)(ii) allocates 7.5 percent, or 53 Chinook salmon, as the AI PSQ reserve for the CDQ Program, and allocates the remaining 647 Chinook salmon to the non-CDQ fisheries. Section 679.21(f)(14)(i) specifies 42,000 fish as the 2019 and 2020 nonChinook salmon PSC limit for vessels using trawl gear from August 15 through October 14 in the Catcher Vessel Operational Area (CVOA). Section 679.21(f)(14)(ii) allocates 10.7 percent, or 4,494 non-Chinook salmon, in the CVOA as the PSQ reserve for the CDQ Program, and allocates the remaining 37,506 non-Chinook salmon in the CVOA to the non-CDQ fisheries. PSC limits for crab and herring are specified annually based on abundance and spawning biomass. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(1) allocates 10.7 percent from each trawl gear PSC limit specified for crab as a PSQ reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program. Based on 2018 survey data, the red king crab mature female abundance is estimated at 13.1 million red king crabs, and the effective spawning biomass is estimated at 33,275 million lbs (15,093 mt). Based on the criteria set out at § 679.21(e)(1)(i), the 2019 and 2020 PSC limit of red king crab in Zone 1 for trawl gear is 97,000 animals. This limit derives from the mature female abundance estimate of more than 8.4 million mature red king crab and the effective spawning biomass estimate of more than 14.5 million lbs (6,577 mt) but less than 55 million lbs (24,948 mt). Section 679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)(2) establishes criteria under which NMFS must specify an annual red king crab bycatch limit for the Red King Crab Savings Subarea (RKCSS). The regulations limit the RKCSS red king crab bycatch limit to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC limit, based on the need to optimize the groundfish harvest relative to red king crab bycatch. In December 2018, the Council recommended and NMFS concurs that the red king crab bycatch limit be equal to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC limit within the RKCSS (Table 15). Based on 2018 survey data, Tanner crab (Chionoecetes bairdi) abundance is estimated at 1,238 million animals. Pursuant to criteria set out at § 679.21(e)(1)(ii), the calculated 2019 and 2020 C. bairdi crab PSC limit for trawl gear is 980,000 animals in Zone 1, and 2,970,000 animals in Zone 2. The limit in Zone 1 is based on the E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 9016 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations abundance of C. bairdi estimated at 1,238 million animals, which is greater than 400 million animals. The limit in Zone 2 is based on the abundance of C. bairdi estimated at 1,238 million animals, which is greater than 400 million animals. Pursuant to § 679.21(e)(1)(iii), the PSC limit for trawl gear for snow crab (C. opilio) is based on total abundance as indicated by the NMFS annual bottom trawl survey. The C. opilio crab PSC limit in the C. opilio bycatch limitation zone (COBLZ) is set at 0.1133 percent of the Bering Sea abundance index minus 150,000 crabs. Based on the 2018 survey estimate of 10.65 billion animals, the calculated C. opilio crab PSC limit is 11,916,450 animals, which is above the minimum PSC limit of 4.5 million and below the maximum PSC limit of 13 million animals. Pursuant to § 679.21(e)(1)(v), the PSC limit of Pacific herring caught while conducting any trawl operation for BSAI groundfish is 1 percent of the annual eastern Bering Sea herring biomass. The best estimate of 2019 and 2020 herring biomass is 254,709 mt. This amount was developed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game based on biomass for spawning aggregations. Therefore, the herring PSC limit for 2019 and 2020 is 2,547 mt for all trawl gear as listed in Tables 14 and 15. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A) requires that PSQ reserves be subtracted from the total trawl gear crab PSC limits. The crab and halibut PSC limits apportioned to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors are listed in Table 35 to 50 CFR part 679. The resulting 2019 and 2020 allocations of PSC limit to CDQ PSQ reserves, the Amendment 80 sector, and the BSAI trawl limited access sector are listed in Table 14. Pursuant to §§ 679.21(b)(1)(i), 679.21(e)(3)(vi), and 679.91(d) through (f), crab and halibut trawl PSC limits assigned to the Amendment 80 sector are then further allocated to Amendment 80 cooperatives as cooperative quota. Crab and halibut PSC cooperative quota assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives is not allocated to specific fishery categories. In 2019, there are no vessels in the Amendment 80 limited access sector and one Amendment 80 cooperative. The 2020 PSC allocations between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2019. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(B) requires that NMFS apportion each trawl PSC limit for crab and herring not assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives into PSC bycatch allowances for seven specified fishery categories in § 679.21(e)(3)(iv). Section 679.21(b)(2) and (e)(5) authorizes NMFS, after consulting with the Council, to establish seasonal apportionments of halibut and crab PSC amounts for the BSAI trawl limited access and non-trawl sectors in order to maximize the ability of the fleet to harvest the available groundfish TAC and to minimize bycatch. The factors to be considered are (1) seasonal distribution of prohibited species, (2) seasonal distribution of target groundfish species relative to prohibited species distribution, (3) PSC bycatch needs on a seasonal basis relevant to prohibited species biomass and expected catches of target groundfish species, (4) expected variations in bycatch rates throughout the year, (5) expected changes in directed groundfish fishing seasons, (6) expected start of fishing effort, and (7) economic effects of establishing seasonal prohibited species apportionments on segments of the target groundfish industry. Based on this criteria, the Council recommended and NMFS approves the seasonal PSC apportionments in Tables 16 and 17 to maximize harvest among gear types, fisheries, and seasons while minimizing bycatch of PSC. TABLE 14—FINAL 2019 AND 2020 APPORTIONMENT OF PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH ALLOWANCES TO NON-TRAWL GEAR, THE CDQ PROGRAM, AMENDMENT 80, AND THE BSAI TRAWL LIMITED ACCESS SECTORS PSC species and area 1 Total PSC Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI .............................................. Herring (mt) BSAI ............................................................ Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 ...................................... C. opilio (animals) COBLZ ............................................... C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 1 ....................................... C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 2 ....................................... 3,515 2,547 97,000 11,916,450 980,000 2,970,000 Non-trawl PSC 710 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a CDQ PSQ reserve 2 Trawl PSC remaining after CDQ PSQ 315 n/a 10,379 1,275,060 104,860 317,790 n/a n/a 86,621 10,641,390 875,140 2,652,210 Amendment 80 sector 3 1,745 n/a 43,293 5,230,243 368,521 627,778 BSAI trawl limited access fishery 745 n/a 26,489 3,420,143 411,228 1,241,500 1 Refer to § 679.2 for definitions of zones. PSQ reserve for crab species is 10.7 percent of each crab PSC limit. 3 The Amendment 80 program reduced apportionment of the trawl PSC limits for crab below the total PSC limit. These reductions are not apportioned to other gear types or sectors. 2 The TABLE 15–FINAL 2019 AND 2020 HERRING AND RED KING CRAB SAVINGS SUBAREA PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH ALLOWANCES FOR ALL TRAWL SECTORS Herring (mt) BSAI amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES Fishery categories Yellowfin sole ........................................................................................................................................................... Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish 1 .................................................................................................................... Greenland turbot/arrowtooth flounder/Kamchatka flounder/sablefish ..................................................................... Rockfish ................................................................................................................................................................... Pacific cod ............................................................................................................................................................... Midwater trawl pollock ............................................................................................................................................. Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species 2 3 .................................................................................................................. Red king crab savings subarea non-pelagic trawl gear 4 ........................................................................................ VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 111 54 7 7 13 2,313 42 n/a Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 24,250 9017 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 15–FINAL 2019 AND 2020 HERRING AND RED KING CRAB SAVINGS SUBAREA PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH ALLOWANCES FOR ALL TRAWL SECTORS—Continued Herring (mt) BSAI Fishery categories Total trawl PSC ................................................................................................................................................ Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 2,547 97,000 1 ‘‘Other flatfish’’ for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), Alaska plaice, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, rock sole, and yellowfin sole. 2 Pollock other than midwater trawl pollock, Atka mackerel, and ‘‘other species’’ fishery category. 3 ‘‘Other species’’ for PSC monitoring includes skates, sculpins, sharks, and octopuses. 4 In December 2018, the Council recommended that the red king crab bycatch limit for non-pelagic trawl fisheries within the RKCSS be limited to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC allowance (see § 679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)(2)). Note: Species apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. TABLE 16—FINAL 2019 AND 2020 PROHIBITED SPECIES BYCATCH ALLOWANCES FOR THE BSAI TRAWL LIMITED ACCESS SECTOR Prohibited species and area 1 Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 C. opilio (animals) COBLZ Zone 1 Zone 2 Yellowfin sole ....................................................................... Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish 2 ................................. Greenland turbot/arrowtooth flounder/Kamchatka flounder/ sablefish ........................................................................... Rockfish April 15–December 31 .......................................... Pacific cod ............................................................................ Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species 3 ................................. 150 ........................ 23,338 ........................ 3,224,126 ........................ 346,228 ........................ 1,185,500 ........................ ........................ 4 391 200 ........................ ........................ 2,954 197 ........................ 5,326 137,426 53,265 ........................ ........................ 60,000 5,000 ........................ 1,000 49,999 5,000 Total BSAI trawl limited access PSC ........................... 745 26,489 3,420,143 411,228 1,241,500 BSAI trawl limited access fisheries C. bairdi (animals) 1 Refer to § 679.2 for definitions of areas. 2 ‘‘Other flatfish’’ for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), Alaska plaice, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, rock sole, and yellowfin sole. 3 ‘‘Other species’’ for PSC monitoring includes skates, sculpins, sharks, and octopuses. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. TABLE 17–FINAL 2019 AND 2020 HALIBUT PROHIBITED SPECIES BYCATCH ALLOWANCES FOR NON–TRAWL FISHERIES Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI Catcher/ processor Non-trawl fisheries Seasons Catcher vessel All non-trawl Pacific cod ................................................................. Non-Pacific cod non-trawl-Total ................................ Groundfish pot and jig ............................................... Sablefish hook-and-line ............................................. Total Pacific cod .................................. January 1–June 10 .............................. June 10–August 15 .............................. August 15–December 31 ..................... May 1–December 31 ........................... n/a ........................................................ n/a ........................................................ 648 388 162 98 n/a n/a n/a 13 9 2 2 n/a n/a n/a 661 n/a n/a n/a 49 Exempt Exempt Total for all non-trawl PSC ................................ n/a ........................................................ n/a n/a 710 amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. Estimates of Halibut Biomass and Stock Condition The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) annually assesses the abundance and potential yield of the Pacific halibut stock 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 2018 Pacific halibut stock assessment (December 2018), available on the IPHC website at www.iphc.int. The IPHC considered the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 2018 Pacific halibut stock assessment at its January 2019 annual meeting when it set the 2019 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, halibut discard mortality rates (DMRs), and estimates of groundfish catch to project when a fishery’s halibut bycatch mortality allowance or seasonal PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 apportionment is reached. Halibut incidental catch rates are based on observers’ estimates of halibut incidental catch in the groundfish fishery. DMRs are estimates of the proportion of incidentally caught halibut that do not survive after being returned to the sea. The cumulative halibut mortality that accrues to a particular halibut PSC limit is the product of a DMR multiplied by the estimated halibut PSC. DMRs are estimated using the best scientific information available in conjunction E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 9018 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations with the annual BSAI stock assessment process. The DMR methodology and findings are included as an appendix to the annual BSAI groundfish SAFE report. In 2016, the DMR estimation methodology underwent revisions per the Council’s directive. An interagency halibut working group (IPHC, Council, and NMFS staff) developed improved estimation methods that have undergone review by the Plan Team, SSC, and the Council. A summary of the revised methodology is included in the BSAI proposed 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications (81 FR 87863, December 6, 2016), and the comprehensive discussion of the working group’s statistical methodology is available from the Council (see ADDRESSES). The DMR working group’s revised methodology is intended to improve estimation accuracy, transparency, and transferability in the methodology used for calculating DMRs. The working group will continue to consider improvements to the methodology used to calculate halibut mortality, including potential changes to the reference period (the period of data used for calculating the DMRs). Future DMRs, including the 2020 DMRs, may change based on additional years of observer sampling, which could provide more recent and accurate data and which could improve the accuracy of estimation and progress on methodology. The new methodology will continue to ensure that NMFS is using DMRs that more accurately reflect halibut mortality, which will inform the different sectors of their estimated halibut mortality and allow specific sectors to respond with methods that could reduce mortality and, eventually, the DMR for that sector. At the December 2018 meeting, the SSC, AP, and Council reviewed and concurred in the revised DMRs. The 2019 and 2020 DMRs use an updated 2year reference period. Comparing the 2019 and 2020 final DMRs to the final DMRs from the 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications, the DMR for motherships and catcher/processors using nonpelagic trawl gear decreased to 78 percent from 84 percent, the DMR for catcher vessels using non-pelagic trawl gear decreased to 59 percent from 60 percent, the DMR for catcher vessels using hook-and-line gear decreased to 4 percent from 17 percent, and the DMR for pot gear increased to 19 percent from 9 percent. Table 18 lists the final 2019 and 2020 DMRs. TABLE 18–2019 AND 2020 PACIFIC HALIBUT DISCARD MORTALITY RATES (DMR) FOR THE BSAI Halibut discard mortality rate (percent) Gear Sector Pelagic trawl ................................................................................ Non-pelagic trawl ........................................................................ Non-pelagic trawl ........................................................................ Hook-and-line .............................................................................. Hook-and-line .............................................................................. Pot ............................................................................................... All ............................................................................................... Mothership and catcher/processor ............................................ Catcher vessel ........................................................................... Catcher/processor ...................................................................... Catcher vessel ........................................................................... All ............................................................................................... Directed Fishing Closures In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator may establish a DFA for a species or species group if the Regional Administrator determines that any allocation or apportionment of a target species has been or will be reached. If the Regional Administrator establishes a DFA, and that allowance is or will be reached before the end of the fishing year, NMFS will prohibit directed fishing for that species or species group in the specified subarea, regulatory area, or district (see § 679.20(d)(1)(iii)). Similarly, pursuant to § 679.21(b)(4) and (e)(7), if the Regional Administrator determines that a fishery category’s bycatch allowance of halibut, red king crab, C. bairdi crab, or C. opilio crab for a specified area has been reached, the Regional Administrator will prohibit directed fishing for each species or species group in that fishery category in the area specified by regulation for the remainder of the fishing year. Based on historic catch patterns and anticipated fishing activity, the Regional Administrator has determined that the groundfish allocation amounts in Table 19 will be necessary as incidental catch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries for the 2019 and 2020 fishing years. Consequently, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator establishes the DFA for the species and species groups in Table 100 78 59 8 4 19 19 as zero mt. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for these sectors and species or species groups in the specified areas effective at 1200 hours, A.l.t., March 13, 2019, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2020. Also, for the BSAI trawl limited access sector, bycatch allowances of halibut, red king crab, C. bairdi crab, and C. opilio crab listed in Table 19 are insufficient to support directed fisheries. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.21(b)(4)(i) and (e)(7), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for these sectors, species, and fishery categories in the specified areas effective at 1200 hours, A.l.t., March 13, 2019, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2020. TABLE 19—2019 AND 2020 DIRECTED FISHING CLOSURES 1 amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES [Groundfish and halibut amounts are in metric tons. Crab amounts are in number of animals] 2019 Incidental catch allowance Area Sector Species Bogoslof District .............................. Aleutian Islands subarea ................ All ................................................... All ................................................... Aleutian Islands subarea ................ Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea. Trawl non-CDQ .............................. Non-amendment 80, CDQ, and BSAI trawl limited access. Pollock ............................................ ICA pollock ..................................... ‘‘Other rockfish’’ 2 ........................... Sablefish ........................................ ICA Atka mackerel ......................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 75 2,400 388 427 800 2020 Incidental catch allowance 75 2,400 388 571 800 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations 9019 TABLE 19—2019 AND 2020 DIRECTED FISHING CLOSURES 1—Continued [Groundfish and halibut amounts are in metric tons. Crab amounts are in number of animals] 2019 Incidental catch allowance 2020 Incidental catch allowance Area Sector Species Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea. Eastern Aleutian District ................. All ................................................... Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish .... 75 75 Non-amendment 80, CDQ, and BSAI trawl limited access. Non-amendment 80, CDQ, and BSAI trawl limited access. ICA Pacific ocean perch ................ 100 100 ICA Atka mackerel ......................... 75 75 Central Aleutian District .................. Western Aleutian District ................ Non-amendment 80, CDQ BSAI trawl limited access. and ICA Pacific ocean perch ................ ICA Atka mackerel ......................... 60 20 60 20 Western and Central Aleutian Districts. Bering Sea subarea ........................ Bering Sea subarea ........................ All ................................................... ICA Pacific ocean perch ................ Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish .... 10 204 10 204 Trawl non-CDQ .............................. All ................................................... Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands .... All ................................................... Sablefish ........................................ Pacific ocean perch ....................... ‘‘Other rockfish’’ 2 ........................... ICA pollock ..................................... Northern rockfish ............................ Shortraker rockfish ......................... Skates ............................................ Sculpins .......................................... Sharks ............................................ Octopuses ...................................... ICA Pacific cod .............................. ICA flathead sole ........................... ICA rock sole ................................. ICA yellowfin sole .......................... 633 14,675 234 46,520 5,525 304 22,100 4,250 106 340 400 3,000 5,000 4,000 847 14,274 234 47,286 5,525 150 22,950 4,250 180 200 400 3,000 5,000 4,000 Hook-and-line and pot gear ........... Non-amendment 80 and CDQ ....... Non-amendment 80, CDQ, and BSAI trawl limited access. BSAI trawl limited access .............. Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish—halibut mortality, red king crab Zone 1, C. opilio COBLZ, C. bairdi Zone 1 and 2. Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish—halibut mortality, red king crab Zone 1, C. opilio COBLZ, C. bairdi Zone 1 and 2. Rockfish—red king crab Zone 1. 1 Maximum retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679. rockfish’’ includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, and blackspotted/rougheye rockfish. amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES 2 ‘‘Other Closures implemented under the final 2018 and 2019 BSAI harvest specifications for groundfish (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018) remain effective under authority of these final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications and until the date specified in those notices. Closures are posted at the following websites: https://alaska fisheries.noaa.gov/cm/info_bulletins/ and https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/ fisheries_reports/reports/. 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 at 50 CFR part 679. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 Listed AFA Catcher/Processor Sideboard Limits Pursuant to § 679.64(a), the Regional Administrator is responsible for restricting the ability of listed AFA C/ Ps to engage in directed fishing for groundfish species other than pollock to protect participants in other groundfish fisheries from adverse effects resulting from the AFA and from fishery cooperatives in the pollock directed fishery. These restrictions are set out as sideboard limits on catch. The basis for these sideboard limits is described in detail in the final rules implementing the major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 September 14, 2007). Table 20 lists the 2019 and 2020 AFA C/P groundfish sideboard limits. Section 679.64(a)(1)(v) exempts AFA catcher/processors from a yellowfin sole sideboard limit because the 2019 and 2020 aggregate ITAC of yellowfin sole assigned to the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access sector is greater than 125,000 mt. All harvest of groundfish sideboard species by listed AFA C/Ps, whether as targeted catch or incidental catch, will be deducted from the sideboard limits in Table 20. However, groundfish sideboard species that are delivered to listed AFA C/Ps by CVs will not be deducted from the 2019 and 2020 sideboard limits for the listed AFA C/Ps. E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 9020 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 20—FINAL 2019 AND 2020 LISTED BSAI AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER/PROCESSOR GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS [Amounts are in metric tons] 1995–1997 Target species Sablefish trawl. Atka mackerel. Rock sole Greenland turbot. Arrowtooth flounder. Kamchatka flounder. Flathead sole. Alaska plaice. Other flatfish. Pacific ocean perch. Northern rockfish. Shortraker rockfish. Blackspotted/ Rougheye rockfish. Other rockfish. amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES Skates ..... Sculpins .. Sharks ..... Octopuses Area/ season Retained catch BS ........... Total catch Ratio of retained catch to total catch 2019 ITAC available to trawl C/Ps 1 2019 AFA C/P sideboard limit 2020 ITAC available to trawl C/Ps 1 2020 AFA C/P sideboard limit 8 497 0.0160 633 10 847 14 AI ............ ........................ Central AI n/a A season 2. Central AI n/a B season 2. Western n/a AI A season 2. Western n/a AI B season 2. BSAI ........ 6,317 BS ........... 121 145 n/a ........................ 0.1150 427 6,425 ........................ 739 571 11,116 1,278 n/a 0.1150 6,425 739 11,116 1,278 n/a 0.2000 8,748 1,750 6,173 1,235 n/a 0.2000 8,748 1,750 6,173 1,235 169,362 17,305 0.0370 0.0070 42,060 4,356 1,556 30 43,846 4,356 1,622 30 AI ............ BSAI ........ 23 76 4,987 33,987 0.0050 0.0020 144 6,800 1 14 144 6,800 1 14 BSAI ........ 76 33,987 0.0020 4,250 9 4,250 9 BSAI ........ 1,925 52,755 0.0360 12,949 466 12,949 466 BSAI ........ 14 9,438 0.0010 15,300 15 15,300 15 BSAI ........ 3,058 52,298 0.0580 5,525 320 5,525 320 BS ........... 12 4,879 0.0020 12,474 25 12,133 24 Eastern AI Central AI Western AI. BSAI ........ 125 3 54 6,179 5,698 13,598 0.0200 0.0010 0.0040 9,831 7,488 8,930 197 7 36 9,953 7,327 8,930 199 7 36 91 13,040 0.0070 5,525 39 5,525 39 BSAI ........ 50 2,811 0.0180 304 5 304 5 BS/EAI .... 50 2,811 0.0180 64 1 64 1 CAI/WAI .. BS ........... 50 18 2,811 621 0.0180 0.0290 173 234 3 7 173 234 3 7 AI ............ BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BSAI ........ BSAI ........ 22 553 553 553 553 806 68,672 68,672 68,672 68,672 0.0270 0.0080 0.0080 0.0080 0.0080 388 22,100 4,250 106 340 10 177 34 1 3 388 22,100 4,250 106 340 10 177 34 1 3 1 Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI Atka mackerel, flathead sole, and rock sole are multiplied by the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C). 2 The seasonal apportionment of Atka mackerel for the BSAI trawl limited access sector is 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. Listed AFA catcher/processors are limited to harvesting no more than zero in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea, 20 percent of the annual ITAC specified for the Western Aleutian District, and 11.5 percent of the annual ITAC specified for the Central Aleutian District. Notes: Section 679.64(a)(1)(v) exempts AFA catcher/processors from a yellowfin sole sideboard limit because the 2019 and 2020 aggregate ITAC of yellowfin sole assigned to the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access sector is greater than 125,000 mt. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations 9021 On February 8, 2019, NMFS published a final rule (84 FR 2723) that modifies regulations for AFA Program participants subject to sideboard limits in the BSAI. The final rule establishes regulations to prohibit directed fishing for sideboard limits for specific groundfish species or species groups, rather than prohibiting directed fishing for AFA Program sideboard limits through the BSAI annual harvest specifications. Once the final rule is effective (effective March 11, 2019), NMFS will no longer publish in the annual BSAI harvest specifications the AFA Program sideboard limit amounts for groundfish species subject to the final rule, and the groundfish species subject to the final rule will be prohibited to directed fishing in regulation (84 FR 2723). Section 679.64(a)(2) and Tables 40 and 41 of 50 CFR part 679 establish a formula for calculating PSC sideboard limits for halibut and crab caught by listed AFA C/Ps. The basis for these sideboard limits is described in detail in the final rules implementing the major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007). PSC species listed in Table 21 that are caught by listed AFA C/Ps participating in any groundfish fishery other than pollock will accrue against the 2019 and 2020 PSC sideboard limits for the listed AFA C/Ps. Section 679.21(b)(4)(iii), (e)(3)(v), and (e)(7) authorizes NMFS to close directed fishing for groundfish other than pollock for listed AFA C/Ps once a 2019 or 2020 PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 21 is reached. Pursuant to § 679.21(b)(1)(ii)(C) and (e)(3)(ii)(C), halibut or crab PSC by listed AFA C/Ps while fishing for pollock will accrue against the PSC allowances annually specified for the pollock/Atka mackerel/‘‘other species’’ fishery categories under § 679.21(b)(1)(ii)(B) and (e)(3)(iv). TABLE 21—FINAL 2019 AND 2020 BSAI AFA LISTED CATCHER/PROCESSOR PROHIBITED SPECIES SIDEBOARD LIMITS Ratio of PSC catch to total PSC PSC species and area 1 Halibut mortality BSAI .................................................................................................................. Red king crab Zone 1 .................................................................................................................. C. opilio (COBLZ) ........................................................................................................................ C. bairdi Zone 1 ........................................................................................................................... C. bairdi Zone 2 ........................................................................................................................... 1 Refer n/a 0.007 0.153 0.140 0.050 2019 and 2020 PSC available to trawl vessels after subtraction of PSQ 2 n/a 86,621 10,641,390 875,140 2,652,210 2019 and 2020 AFA catcher/ processor sideboard limit 2 286 606 1,628,133 122,520 132,611 to § 679.2 for definitions of areas. amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals. 2 Halibut AFA Catcher Vessel Sideboard Limits Pursuant to § 679.64(b), the Regional Administrator is responsible for restricting the ability of AFA CVs to engage in directed fishing for groundfish species other than pollock to protect participants in other groundfish fisheries from adverse effects resulting from the AFA and from fishery cooperatives in the pollock directed fishery. Section 679.64(b)(3) and (4) establishes a formula for setting AFA CV groundfish and halibut and crab PSC sideboard limits for the BSAI. The basis for these sideboard limits is described in detail in the final rules implementing the major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007). Section 679.64(b)(6) exempts AFA CVs from a yellowfin sole sideboard limit because the 2019 and 2020 aggregate ITAC of yellowfin sole assigned to the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access sector is greater than 125,000 mt. Tables 22 and 23 list the 2019 and 2020 AFA CV sideboard limits. All catch of groundfish sideboard species made by non-exempt AFA CVs, whether as targeted catch or incidental catch, will be deducted from the 2019 and 2020 sideboard limits listed in Table 22. Halibut and crab PSC limits listed in Table 23 that are caught by AFA CVs participating in any groundfish fishery for groundfish other than pollock will accrue against the 2019 and 2020 PSC sideboard limits for the AFA CVs. Section 679.21(b)(4)(iii), (e)(3)(v), and (e)(7) authorizes NMFS to close directed fishing for groundfish other than pollock for AFA CVs once a 2019 or 2020 PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 23 is reached. Pursuant to § 679.21(b)(1)(ii)(C) and (e)(3)(ii)(C), the halibut and crab PSC by AFA CVs while fishing for pollock in the BSAI will accrue against the PSC allowances annually specified for the pollock/Atka mackerel/‘‘other species’’ fishery categories under § 679.21(b)(1)(ii)(B) and (e)(3)(iv). TABLE 22—FINAL 2019 AND 2020 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL BSAI GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES [Amounts are in metric tons] Species/gear Fishery by area/season Ratio of 1995– 1997 AFA CV catch to 1995– 1997 TAC Pacific cod/Jig gear ............. Pacific cod/Hook-and-line CV≥60 feet LOA. BSAI ................................... BSAI Jan 1–Jun 10 ............ ........................ 0.0006 n/a 164 ........................ 0 n/a 127 ........................ 0 BSAI Jun 10–Dec 31 ......... BSAI Jan 1–Jun 10 ............ BSAI Sept 1–Dec 31 .......... 0.0006 0.0006 0.0006 157 6,884 6,614 0 4 4 122 5,340 5,131 0 3 3 Pacific cod pot gear CV ...... VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4700 2019 Initial TAC 1 Sfmt 4700 2019 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 2020 Initial TAC 1 2020 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits 9022 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 22—FINAL 2019 AND 2020 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL BSAI GROUNDFISH SIDEBOARD LIMITS— Continued [Amounts are in metric tons] Ratio of 1995– 1997 AFA CV catch to 1995– 1997 TAC 2019 Initial TAC 1 2019 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits 2020 Initial TAC 1 2020 AFA catcher vessel sideboard limits Species/gear Fishery by area/season Pacific cod CV ≥ 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. Pacific cod trawl gear CV ... BSAI ................................... 0.0006 3,214 2 2,493 1 BSAI Jan 20–Apr 1 ............ BSAI Apr 1–Jun 10 ............ BSAI Jun 10–Nov 1 ........... BS ....................................... AI ........................................ Eastern AI/BS Jan 1–Jun 10. Eastern AI/BS Jun 10–Nov 1. Central AI Jan 1–Jun 10 .... Central AI Jun 10–Nov 1 .... Western AI Jan 1–Jun 10 .. Western AI Jun 10–Nov 1 .. BSAI ................................... BS ....................................... AI ........................................ BSAI ................................... BSAI ................................... BSAI ................................... BSAI ................................... BS ....................................... BS ....................................... Eastern AI .......................... Central AI ........................... Western AI ......................... BSAI ................................... BSAI ................................... BS/EAI ................................ 0.8609 0.8609 0.8609 0.0906 0.0645 0.0032 26,388 3,923 5,349 633 427 10,703 22,717 3,377 4,605 57 28 34 20,493 3,046 4,154 847 571 9,908 17,642 2,622 3,576 77 37 32 0.0032 10,703 34 9,908 32 0.0001 0.0001 ........................ ........................ 0.0341 0.0645 0.0205 0.0690 0.0690 0.0441 0.0441 0.0505 0.1000 0.0077 0.0025 ........................ 0.0084 0.0037 0.0037 6,425 6,425 8,748 8,748 42,060 4,356 144 6,800 4,250 15,300 5,525 12,949 12,474 9,831 7,488 8,930 5,525 304 64 1 1 ........................ ........................ 1,434 281 3 469 293 675 244 654 1,247 76 19 ........................ 46 1 0 5,933 5,933 8,098 8,098 50,990 4,356 144 6,800 4,250 15,300 5,525 12,949 12,133 9,953 7,327 8,930 5,525 304 64 1 1 ........................ ........................ 1,739 281 3 469 293 675 244 654 1,213 77 18 ........................ 46 1 0 CAI/WAI .............................. BS ....................................... AI ........................................ BSAI ................................... BSAI ................................... BSAI ................................... BSAI ................................... 0.0037 0.0048 0.0095 0.0541 0.0541 0.0541 0.0541 173 234 388 22,100 4,250 106 340 1 1 4 1,196 230 6 18 173 234 388 22,100 4,250 106 340 1 1 4 1,196 230 6 18 Sablefish trawl gear ............ Atka mackerel ..................... Rock sole ............................ Greenland turbot ................. Arrowtooth flounder ............. Kamchatka flounder ............ Alaska plaice ....................... Other flatfish ........................ Flathead sole ...................... Pacific ocean perch ............ Northern rockfish ................. Shortraker rockfish .............. Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish. Other rockfish ...................... Skates ................................. Sculpins ............................... Sharks ................................. Octopuses ........................... 1 Aleutians Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI Atka mackerel, flathead sole, Pacific cod, and rock sole are multiplied by the remainder of the TAC of that species after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C). Notes: Section 679.64(b)(6) exempts AFA catcher vessels from a yellowfin sole sideboard limit because the 2019 and 2020 aggregate ITAC of yellowfin sole assigned to the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access sector is greater than 125,000 mt. On February 8, 2019, NMFS published a final rule (84 FR 2723) that modifies regulations for AFA Program participants subject to sideboard limits in the BSAI. The final rule establishes regulations to prohibit directed fishing for sideboard limits for specific groundfish species or species groups, rather than prohibiting directed fishing for AFA Program sideboard limits through the BSAI annual harvest specifications. Once the final rule is effective (effective March 11, 2019), NMFS will no longer publish in the annual BSAI harvest specifications the AFA Program sideboard limit amounts for groundfish species subject to the final rule, and the groundfish species subject to the final rule will be prohibited to directed fishing in regulation (84 FR 2723). amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES TABLE 23—FINAL 2019 AND 2020 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR THE BSAI 1 PSC species and area 1 Target fishery category 2 Halibut ............................................................. Pacific cod trawl ............................................. Pacific cod hook-and-line or pot .................... Yellowfin sole total ......................................... Rock sole/flathead sole/Alaska plaice/other flatfish 4. Greenland turbot/arrowtooth/Kamchatka/sablefish. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit ratio 2019 and 2020 PSC limit after subtraction of PSQ reserves 3 2019 and 2020 AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit 3 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 887 2 101 228 n/a n/a ........................ E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations 9023 TABLE 23—FINAL 2019 AND 2020 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL PROHIBITED SPECIES CATCH SIDEBOARD LIMITS FOR THE BSAI 1—Continued PSC species and area 1 Target fishery category 2 Red king crab Zone 1 ..................................... C. opilio COBLZ .............................................. C. bairdi Zone 1 .............................................. C. bairdi Zone 2 .............................................. Rockfish .......................................................... Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species 5 ........... n/a .................................................................. n/a .................................................................. n/a .................................................................. n/a .................................................................. AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit ratio 2019 and 2020 PSC limit after subtraction of PSQ reserves 3 2019 and 2020 AFA catcher vessel PSC sideboard limit 3 n/a n/a 0.2990 0.1680 0.3300 0.1860 n/a n/a 86,621 10,641,390 875,140 2,652,210 2 5 25,900 1,787,754 288,796 493,311 1 Refer to § 679.2 for definitions of areas. trawl fishery categories are defined at § 679.21(b)(1)(ii)(B) and (e)(3)(iv). 3 Halibut amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals. 4 ‘‘Other flatfish’’ for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), Alaska plaice, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, rock sole, and yellowfin sole. 5 ‘‘Other species’’ for PSC monitoring includes skates, sculpins, sharks, and octopuses. 2 Target AFA Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel Sideboard Directed Fishing Closures Based on historical catch patterns, the Regional Administrator has determined that many of the AFA C/P and CV sideboard limits listed in Tables 24 and 25 are necessary as incidental catch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries for the 2019 and 2020 fishing years. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iv), the Regional Administrator establishes the sideboard limits listed in Tables 24 and 25 as DFAs. Because many of these DFAs will be reached before the end of the year in 2019 and 2020, the Regional Administrator has determined, in accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), that NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing by listed AFA C/Ps for the species in the specified areas set out in Table 24, and prohibiting directed fishing by nonexempt AFA CVs for the species in the specified areas set out in Table 25. TABLE 24—FINAL 2019 AND 2020 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT LISTED CATCHER/PROCESSOR SIDEBOARD DIRECTED FISHING CLOSURES 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] Species Area Gear types 2019 Sideboard limit 2020 Sideboard limit Sablefish trawl ................................ BS .................................................. AI .................................................... BSAI ............................................... BS .................................................. AI .................................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BS .................................................. Eastern AI ...................................... Central AI ....................................... Western AI ..................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... EBS/EAI ......................................... CAI/WAI ......................................... BS .................................................. AI .................................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... trawl ................................................ trawl ................................................ all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... 10 ........................ 1,556 30 1 14 9 15 320 466 25 197 7 36 39 5 1 3 7 10 177 34 1 3 14 ........................ 1,622 30 1 14 9 15 320 466 24 199 7 36 39 5 1 3 7 10 177 34 1 3 Rock sole ........................................ Greenland turbot ............................. Arrowtooth flounder ........................ Kamchatka flounder ........................ Alaska plaice .................................. Other flatfish 2 ................................. Flathead sole .................................. Pacific ocean perch ........................ Northern rockfish ............................ Shortraker rockfish ......................... Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish .... amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES Other rockfish 3 ............................... Skates ............................................. Sculpins .......................................... Sharks ............................................. Octopuses ....................................... 1 Maximum retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679. flatfish’’ includes all flatfish species, except for halibut, Alaska plaice, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Kamchatka flounder, and arrowtooth flounder. 3 ‘‘Other rockfish’’ includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, and blackspotted/rougheye rockfish. 2 ‘‘Other VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 9024 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 25–FINAL 2019 AND 2020 AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT CATCHER VESSEL SIDEBOARD DIRECTED FISHING CLOSURES 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] Species Area Gear types Pacific cod ...................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... hook-and-line CV≥60 feet LOA ...... pot CV≥60 feet LOA ...................... hook-and-line or pot CV≤60 feet LOA. jig .................................................... trawl ................................................ trawl ................................................ all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... all .................................................... Sablefish ......................................... Atka mackerel ................................. Greenland turbot ............................. Arrowtooth flounder ........................ Kamchatka flounder ........................ Alaska plaice .................................. Other flatfish 2 ................................. Flathead sole .................................. Rock sole ........................................ Pacific ocean perch ........................ Northern rockfish ............................ Shortraker rockfish ......................... Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish .... Other rockfish 3 ............................... Skates ............................................. Sculpins .......................................... Sharks ............................................. Squids ............................................. Octopuses ....................................... BSAI ............................................... BS .................................................. AI .................................................... Eastern AI/BS ................................ Central AI ....................................... Western AI ..................................... BS .................................................. AI .................................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BS .................................................. Eastern AI ...................................... Central AI ....................................... Western AI ..................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BS/EAI ............................................ CAI/WAI ......................................... BS .................................................. AI .................................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... BSAI ............................................... 2019 sideboard limit 2020 sideboard limit 0 9 2 0 8 2 0 56 27 104 2 0 281 3 799 293 501 150 654 1,434 1008 62 17 0 44 1 0 1 1 5 1,242 230 10 390 14 0 79 38 96 2 0 281 3 821 293 609 150 744 1,495 977 67 17 0 46 1 0 1 1 5 1,242 230 10 390 11 1 Maximum retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679. flatfish’’ includes all flatfish species, except for halibut, Alaska plaice, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Kamchatka flounder, and arrowtooth flounder. 3 ‘‘Other rockfish’’ includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, and blackspotted/rougheye rockfish. 2 ‘‘Other Response to Comments NMFS received no comments during the public comment period for the proposed BSAI groundfish harvest specifications. No changes were made to the final rule in response to the comment letters received. amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES Classification NMFS has determined that these final harvest specifications are consistent with the FMP and with the MagnusonStevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is authorized under 50 CFR 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. NMFS prepared 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 Final EIS. In February 2019, NMFS prepared a Supplemental Information Report (SIR) for this action. Copies of the Final EIS, ROD, and annual SIRs for VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 this action are available from NMFS (see The Final EIS analyzes the environmental, social, and economic consequences of the groundfish harvest specifications and alternative harvest strategies on resources in the action area. Based on the analysis in the Final EIS, NMFS concluded that the preferred Alternative (Alternative 2) provides the best balance among relevant environmental, social, and economic considerations and allows for continued management of the groundfish fisheries based on the most recent, best scientific information. The SIR evaluates the need to prepare a Supplemental EIS (SEIS) for the 2019 and 2020 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 ADDRESSES). PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications, which were set according to the preferred harvest strategy in the EIS, does 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 impacts. Additionally, the 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications will result in environmental, social, and economic 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 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications. E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations Section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 604) requires that, when an agency promulgates a final rule under 5 U.S.C. 553, 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). The following constitutes the FRFA prepared in the final action. The required contents of a FRFA, as described in section 604, are: (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; and (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 included at the beginning of the preamble to this final rule and are not repeated here. NMFS published the proposed rule on December 6, 2018 (83 FR 62815). NMFS prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) to accompany the proposed action, and included a summary in the proposed rule. The comment period closed on January 7, 2019. No comments were received on the IRFA or on the economic impacts of the rule more generally. The Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 Administration did not file any comments on the proposed rule. The entities directly regulated by this action are those that harvest groundfish in the exclusive economic zone of the BSAI and in parallel fisheries within State waters. These include entities operating catcher vessels and catcher/ processors within the action area and entities receiving direct allocations of groundfish. For RFA purposes only, NMFS has established a small business size standard for businesses, including their affiliates, whose primary industry is commercial fishing (see 50 CFR 200.2). A business primarily engaged in commercial fishing (NAICS code 11411) is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual gross receipts not in excess of $11 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide. Using the most recent data available (2017), the estimated number of directly regulated small entities include approximately 170 catcher vessels, four catcher/processors, and six CDQ groups. Some of these vessels are members of AFA inshore pollock cooperatives, Gulf of Alaska rockfish cooperatives, or BSAI Crab Rationalization Program cooperatives, and, since under the RFA the aggregate gross receipts of all participating members of the cooperative must meet the ‘‘under $11 million’’ threshold, the cooperatives are considered to be large entities within the meaning of the RFA. Thus, the estimate of 170 catcher vessels may be an overstatement of the number of small entities. Average gross revenues in 2017 were $570,000 for small hook-and-line vessels, $1.37 million for small pot vessels, and $3.15 million for small trawl vessels. The average gross revenue for catcher/processors are not reported, due to confidentiality considerations. This action does not modify recordkeeping or reporting requirements. The significant alternatives were those considered as alternative harvest strategies when the Council selected its preferred harvest strategy (Alternative 2) in December 2006. These included the following: • Alternative 1: Set TAC to produce fishing mortality rates, F, that are equal to maxFABC, unless the sum of the TAC is constrained by the OY established in the FMP. This is equivalent to setting TAC to produce harvest levels equal to the maximum permissible ABC, as constrained by OY. The term ‘‘maxFABC’’ refers to the maximum permissible value of FABC under PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 9025 Amendment 56 to the BSAI and Gulf of Alaska groundfish fishery management plans. 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, TAC 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, TAC 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 ABC, and recent average F may provide a better indicator of actual F than FABC does. • Alternative 4: First, set TAC for rockfish species in Tier 3 at F75%; set TAC for rockfish species in Tier 5 at F=0.5M; and set spatially explicit TAC for shortraker and rougheye rockfish in the BSAI. Second, taking the rockfish TAC as calculated above, reduce all other TAC by a proportion that does not vary across species, so that the sum of all TAC, including rockfish TAC, is equal to the lower bound of the area OY (1.4 million mt in the BSAI). This alternative sets conservative and spatially explicit TAC for rockfish species that are long-lived and late to mature, and sets conservative TAC for the other groundfish species. • Alternative 5: (No Action) Set TAC at zero. Alternative 2 is the preferred alternative chosen by the Council: Set TACs that fall within the range of ABCs recommended through the Council harvest specifications process and TACs recommended by the Council. Under this scenario, F is set equal to a constant fraction of maxFABC. The recommended fractions of maxFABC may vary among species or stocks, based on other considerations unique to each. This is the method for determining TACs that has been used in the past. Alternatives 1, 3, 4, and 5 do not meet the objectives of this action, and although Alternatives 1 and 3 may have a smaller adverse economic impact on small entities than the preferred alternative, Alternatives 4 and 5 likely would have a significant adverse economic impact on small entities. The Council rejected these alternatives as harvest strategies in 2006, and the Secretary of Commerce did so in 2007. E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES 9026 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations Alternative 1 would lead to TAC limits whose sum exceeds the fishery OY, which is set out in statute and the FMP. As shown in Table 1 and Table 2, the sum of ABCs in 2019 and 2020 would be 3,367,578 mt and 2,967,269 mt, respectively. Both of these are substantially in excess of the fishery OY for the BSAI. This result would be inconsistent with the objectives of this action, in that it would violate the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004, Public Law 108–199, Division B, section 803(c), and the FMP, which both set a 2.0 million mt maximum harvest for BSAI groundfish. Alternative 3 selects harvest rates based on the most recent 5 years’ worth of harvest rates (for species in Tiers 1 through 3) or based on the most recent 5 years’ worth of harvests (for species in Tiers 4 through 6). This alternative is also inconsistent with the objectives of this action, as well as National Standard 2 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (16 U.S.C. 1851(a)(2)), because it does not take into account the most recent biological information for this fishery. NMFS annually conducts at-sea stock surveys for different species, as well as statistical modeling, to estimate stock sizes and permissible harvest levels. Actual harvest rates or harvest amounts are a component of these estimates, but in and of themselves may not accurately portray stock sizes and conditions. Harvest rates are listed for each species category for each year in the SAFE report (see ADDRESSES). Alternative 4 would lead to significantly lower harvests of all groundfish species to reduce TAC from the upper end of the OY range in the BSAI to its lower end of 1.4 million mt. This result would lead to significant reductions in harvests of species by small entities. While reductions of this size could be associated with offsetting price increases, the size of these increases is uncertain, and, assuming volume decreases would lead to price increases, it is unclear whether price increases would be sufficient to offset the volume decreases and to leave revenues unchanged for small entities. Thus, this alternative would have an adverse economic impact on small entities, compared to the preferred alternative. Alternative 5, which sets all harvests equal to zero, may address conservation issues, but would have a significant adverse economic impact on small entities and would be inconsistent with achieving OY on a continuing basis, as mandated by the Magnuson-Stevens Act (16 U.S.C. 1851(a)(1)). Impacts on marine mammals resulting from fishing activities conducted under VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 this rule are discussed in the EIS (see ADDRESSES). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the date of effectiveness for this rule because delaying this rule is contrary to the public interest. The Plan Team review of the 2018 SAFE report occurred in November 2018, and the Council considered and recommended the final harvest specifications in December 2018. Accordingly, NMFS’s review of the final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications could not begin until after the December 2018 Council meeting, and after the public had time to comment on the proposed action. If this rule’s effectiveness is delayed, fisheries that might otherwise remain open under these rules may prematurely close based on the lower TACs established in the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018). If implemented immediately, this rule would allow these fisheries to continue fishing, because some of the new TACs implemented by this rule are higher than the TACs under which they are currently fishing. In addition, 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 pertinent for those species that have lower 2019 ABCs and TACs than those established in the 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018). If implemented immediately, this rule would ensure that NMFS can properly manage those fisheries for which this rule sets lower 2019 ABCs and TACs, which are based on the most recent biological information on the condition of stocks, rather than managing species under the higher TACs set in the previous year’s harvest specifications. Certain fisheries, such as those for pollock and Pacific cod, are intensive, fast-paced fisheries. Other fisheries, such as those for flatfish, rockfish, skates, sculpins, sharks, and octopuses, are critical as directed fisheries and as incidental catch in other fisheries. U.S. fishing vessels have demonstrated the capacity to catch the TAC allocations in these fisheries. Any delay in allocating the final TAC limits in these fisheries would cause confusion in the industry and potential economic harm through unnecessary discards, thus undermining the intent of this rule. Predicting which fisheries may close is difficult because these fisheries are affected by several PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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, for example by freeing up fishing vessels, which would allow those vessels to move from closed fisheries to open ones and lead to an increase in the fishing capacity in those open fisheries, thereby causing those open fisheries to close at an accelerated pace. Additionally, in fisheries subject to declining sideboards, delaying this rule’s effectiveness could allow some vessels to inadvertently reach or exceed their new sideboard limits. Because sideboards are intended to protect traditional fisheries in other sectors, allowing one sector to exceed its new sideboards by delaying this rule’s effectiveness would effectively reduce the available catch for sectors that the sideboard limits are meant to protect. Moreover, the new TACs and sideboard limits protect the fisheries from being overfished. Thus, the delay is contrary to the public interest in protecting traditional fisheries and fish stocks. If the final harvest specifications are not effective by March 15, 2019, which is the start of the 2019 Pacific halibut season as specified by the IPHC, the hook-and-line sablefish fishery will not begin concurrently with the Pacific halibut IFQ season. Delayed effectiveness of this action would result in confusion for sablefish harvesters and economic harm from unnecessary discard of sablefish that are caught along with Pacific halibut, as both hookand-line sablefish and Pacific halibut are managed under the same IFQ program. Immediate effectiveness of the final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications will allow the sablefish IFQ fishery to begin concurrently with the Pacific halibut IFQ season. Finally, immediate effectiveness also would provide the fishing industry the earliest possible opportunity to plan and conduct its fishing operations with respect to new information about TAC limits. Therefore, NMFS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the date of 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 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications and prohibited species bycatch allowances for the E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 49 / Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES groundfish fisheries of the BSAI. This action is necessary to establish harvest limits and associated management measures for groundfish during the 2019 and 2020 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the FMP. This action directly affects all fishermen who participate in the BSAI fisheries. The specific amounts of OFL, ABC, TAC, and PSC amounts are VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:11 Mar 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 provided in tables to assist the reader. NMFS will announce closures of directed fishing in the Federal Register and information bulletins released by the Alaska Region. Affected fishermen should keep themselves informed of such closures. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1540(f); 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 3631 et seq.; Pub. L. 105–277; Pub. L. 106– PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 9027 31; Pub. L. 106–554; Pub. L. 108–199; Pub. L. 108–447; Pub. L. 109–241; Pub. L. 109– 479. Dated: March 7, 2019. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–04539 Filed 3–12–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\13MRR1.SGM 13MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 49 (Wednesday, March 13, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 9000-9027]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-04539]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 180713633-9174-02]
RIN 0648-XG356


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea 
and Aleutian Islands; Final 2019 and 2020 Harvest Specifications for 
Groundfish

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and

[[Page 9001]]

Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Final rule; harvest specifications and closures.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications, 
apportionments, and prohibited species catch allowances for the 
groundfish fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management 
area (BSAI). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for 
groundfish during the remainder of the 2019 and the start of the 2020 
fishing years, and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the 
Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian 
Islands Management Area (FMP). The 2019 harvest specifications 
supersede those previously set in the final 2018 and 2019 harvest 
specifications, and the 2020 harvest specifications will be superseded 
in early 2020 when the final 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications are 
published. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage 
the groundfish resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

DATES: Harvest specifications and closures are effective from 1200 
hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 13, 2019, through 2400 hours, 
A.l.t., December 31, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the Alaska Groundfish Harvest 
Specifications Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Record of 
Decision (ROD), annual Supplementary Information Reports (SIRs) to the 
EIS, and the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) prepared 
for this action are available from https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. 
The 2018 Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for the 
groundfish resources of the BSAI, dated November 2018, as well as the 
SAFE reports for previous years, are available from the North Pacific 
Fishery Management Council (Council) at 605 West 4th Avenue, Suite 306, 
Anchorage, AK, 99510-2252, phone 907-271-2809, or from the Council's 
website at https://www.npfmc.org/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 679 
implement the FMP and govern the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI. The 
Council prepared the FMP, and NMFS approved it, under the Magnuson-
Stevens Act. General regulations governing U.S. fisheries also appear 
at 50 CFR part 600.
    The FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS, after 
consultation with the Council, to specify annually the total allowable 
catch (TAC) for each target species category. The sum of all TAC for 
all groundfish species in the BSAI must be within the optimum yield 
(OY) range of 1.4 million to 2.0 million metric tons (mt) (see Sec.  
679.20(a)(1)(i)(A)). This final rule specifies the total TAC at 2.0 
million mt for both 2019 and 2020. NMFS also must specify 
apportionments of TAC, prohibited species catch (PSC) allowances, and 
prohibited species quota (PSQ) reserves established by Sec.  679.21; 
seasonal allowances of pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel TAC; 
American Fisheries Act allocations; Amendment 80 allocations; Community 
Development Quota (CDQ) reserve amounts established by Sec.  
679.20(b)(1)(ii); and acceptable biological catch (ABC) surpluses and 
reserves for CDQ groups and the Amendment 80 cooperative for flathead 
sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole. The final harvest specifications 
set forth in Tables 1 through 25 of this action satisfy these 
requirements.
    Section 679.20(c)(3)(i) further requires that NMFS consider public 
comment on the proposed harvest specifications and, after consultation 
with the Council, publish final harvest specifications in the Federal 
Register. The proposed 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications for the 
groundfish fishery of the BSAI were published in the Federal Register 
on December 6, 2018 (83 FR 62815). Comments were invited and accepted 
through January 7, 2019. NMFS received no comments on the proposed 
harvest specifications. NMFS consulted with the Council on the final 
2019 and 2020 harvest specifications during the December 2018 Council 
meeting in Anchorage, AK. After considering public comments, as well as 
biological and socioeconomic data that were available at the Council's 
December meeting, in this final rule NMFS implements the final 2019 and 
2020 harvest specifications as recommended by the Council.

ABC and TAC Harvest Specifications

    The final ABC amounts for Alaska groundfish are based on the best 
available biological and socioeconomic information, including projected 
biomass trends, information on assumed distribution of stock biomass, 
and revised technical methods used to calculate stock biomass. In 
general, the development of ABCs and overfishing levels (OFLs) involves 
sophisticated statistical analyses of fish populations. The FMP 
specifies a series of six tiers to define OFL and ABC amounts based on 
the level of reliable information available to fishery scientists. Tier 
1 represents the highest level of information quality available, while 
Tier 6 represents the lowest.
    In December 2018, the Council, its Scientific and Statistical 
Committee (SSC), and its Advisory Panel (AP) reviewed current 
biological and harvest information about the condition of the BSAI 
groundfish stocks. The Council's BSAI Groundfish Plan Team (Plan Team) 
compiled and presented this information in the 2018 SAFE report for the 
BSAI groundfish fisheries, dated November 2018 (see ADDRESSES). The 
SAFE report contains a review of the latest scientific analyses and 
estimates of each species' biomass and other biological parameters, as 
well as summaries of the available information on the BSAI ecosystem 
and the economic condition of groundfish fisheries off Alaska. NMFS 
notified the public of the comment period for these harvest 
specifications--and of the publication of the 2018 SAFE report--in the 
notice of proposed harvest specifications. From the data and analyses 
in the SAFE report, the Plan Team recommended an OFL and ABC for each 
species or species group at the November 2018 Plan Team meeting.
    In December 2018, the SSC, AP, and Council reviewed the Plan Team's 
recommendations. The final TAC recommendations were based on the ABCs 
as adjusted for other biological and socioeconomic considerations, 
including maintaining the sum of all the TACs within the required OY 
range of 1.4 million to 2.0 million mt. As required by annual catch 
limit rules for all fisheries (74 FR 3178, January 16, 2009), none of 
the Council's recommended 2019 or 2020 TACs exceed the final 2019 or 
2020 ABCs for any species or species group. NMFS finds that the 
Council's recommended OFLs, ABCs, and TACs are consistent with the 
preferred harvest strategy and the biological condition of groundfish 
stocks as described in the 2018 SAFE report that was approved by the 
Council. Therefore, this final rule provides notice that the Secretary 
of Commerce approves the final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications as 
recommended by the Council.
    The 2019 harvest specifications set in this final action will 
supersede the 2019 harvest specifications previously set in the final 
2018 and 2019 harvest specifications (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018). 
The 2020 harvest specifications herein will be superseded in early 2020

[[Page 9002]]

when the final 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications are published. 
Pursuant to this final action, the 2019 harvest specifications 
therefore will apply for the remainder of the current year (2019), 
while the 2020 harvest specifications are projected only for the 
following year (2020) and will be superseded in early 2020 by the final 
2020 and 2021 harvest specifications. Because this final action 
(published in early 2019) will be superseded in early 2020 by the 
publication of the final 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications, it is 
projected that this final action will implement the harvest 
specifications for the BSAI for approximately one year.

Other Actions Affecting the 2019 and 2020 Harvest Specifications

Amendment 117: Reclassify Squid as an Ecosystem Species

    As described in the proposed harvest specifications, NMFS published 
the final rule to implement Amendment 117 to the FMP (83 FR 31460, July 
6, 2018). This rule reclassified squid in the FMP as an ``Ecosystem 
Component'' species, which is a category of non-target species that are 
not in need of conservation and management. NMFS will no longer set an 
OFL, ABC, and TAC for squid. Therefore, the final 2019 and 2020 harvest 
specifications for the BSAI do not include an OFL, ABC, and TAC for 
squid. Amendment 117 prohibits directed fishing for squid, while 
maintaining recordkeeping and reporting requirements for squid. 
Amendment 117 also establishes a squid maximum retainable amount when 
directed fishing for groundfish species at 20 percent to discourage 
targeting squid species.

Rulemaking To Prohibit Directed Fishing for American Fisheries Act 
(AFA) Sideboard Limits

    On February 8, 2019, NMFS published a final rule (84 FR 2723, 
February 8, 2019) that modifies regulations for the American Fisheries 
Act (AFA) Program participants subject to limits on the catch of 
specific species (sideboard limits) in the BSAI. Sideboard limits are 
intended to prevent AFA Program participants who benefit from receiving 
exclusive harvesting privileges in a particular fishery from shifting 
effort to other fisheries.
    Specifically, the final rule primarily establishes regulations to 
prohibit directed fishing for sideboard limits for specific groundfish 
species or species groups, rather than prohibiting directed fishing for 
AFA sideboard limits through the BSAI annual harvest specifications. 
Currently, NMFS calculates numerous AFA Program sideboard limits as 
part of the annual BSAI groundfish harvest specifications process and 
publishes these sideboard limits in the Federal Register. Concurrently, 
NMFS prohibits directed fishing for the majority of the groundfish 
sideboard limits because most limits are too small to support directed 
fishing. Rather than continue this annual process, the final rule 
revises regulations to prohibit directed fishing in regulation for most 
AFA Program groundfish sideboard limits. Once the final rule is 
effective (effective March 11, 2019), NMFS will no longer publish in 
the annual BSAI harvest specifications the AFA Program sideboard limit 
amounts for groundfish species subject to the final rule (contained in 
Tables 20 and 22 of this action), and those groundfish species subject 
to the final rule will be prohibited to directed fishing in regulation 
(84 FR 2723).

State of Alaska Guideline Harvest Levels

    For 2019 and 2020, the Board of Fisheries (BOF) for the State of 
Alaska (State) established the guideline harvest level (GHL) for 
vessels using pot gear in State waters in the Bering Sea subarea (BS) 
equal to 8 percent of the Pacific cod ABC in the BS. Also, for 2019 and 
2020, the BOF established an additional GHL for vessels using jig gear 
in State waters in the BS equal to 45 mt of Pacific cod in the BS. The 
Council and its Plan Team, SSC, and AP recommended that the sum of all 
State and Federal water Pacific cod removals from the BS not exceed the 
ABC recommendations for Pacific cod in the BS. Accordingly, the Council 
recommended and NMFS approves that the 2019 and 2020 Pacific cod TACs 
in the BS account for the State's GHLs for Pacific cod caught in State 
waters in the BS. Also, the BOF approved a one percent annual increase 
in the BS GHL for vessels using pot gear, up to 15 percent of the BS 
ABC, if 90 percent of the GHL is harvested by November 15 of the 
preceding year. If 90 percent of the 2019 BS GHL is not harvested by 
November 15, 2019, the 2020 GHL will remain at 8 percent. If, however, 
90 percent of the 2019 BS GHL is harvested by November 15, 2019, the 
2020 GHL will increase by 1 percent to 9 percent of the 2020 BS ABC, 
and the 2020 BS TAC will be set to account for the increased BS GHL.
    For 2019 and 2020, the BOF established a GHL in State waters in the 
Aleutian Islands subarea (AI) equal to 31 percent of the Pacific cod 
ABC in the AI. The Council and its Plan Team, SSC, and AP recommended 
that the sum of all State and Federal water Pacific cod removals from 
the AI not exceed the ABC recommendations for Pacific cod in the AI. 
Accordingly, the Council recommended and NMFS approves that the 2019 
and 2020 Pacific cod TACs in the AI account for the State's GHL for 
Pacific cod caught in State waters in the AI.

Changes from the Proposed 2019 and 2020 Harvest Specifications for the 
BSAI

    The Council's recommendations for the proposed 2019 and 2020 
harvest specifications (83 FR 62815, December 6, 2018) were based 
largely on information contained in the 2017 SAFE report for the BSAI 
groundfish fisheries. Through the proposed harvest specifications, NMFS 
notified the public that these harvest specifications could change, as 
the Council would consider information contained in the 2018 SAFE 
report; recommendations from the Plan Team, SSC, and AP committees; and 
public comments when making its recommendations for final harvest 
specifications at the December 2018 Council meeting. NMFS further 
notified the public that, as required by the FMP and its implementing 
regulations, the sum of the TACs must be within the OY range of 1.4 
million and 2.0 million mt.
    Information contained in the 2018 SAFE report indicates biomass 
changes from the 2017 SAFE report for several groundfish species. The 
2018 report was made available for public review during the public 
comment period for the proposed harvest specifications. At the December 
2018 Council meeting, the SSC recommended the 2019 and 2020 ABCs based 
on the best and most recent information contained in the 2018 SAFE 
report. This recommendation resulted in an ABC sum total for all BSAI 
groundfish species in excess of 2.0 million mt for both 2019 and 2020.
    Based on increased fishing effort in 2018, the Council recommends 
final BS pollock TACs increase by 12,800 mt in 2019 and 35,800 mt in 
2020 compared to the proposed 2019 and 2020 BS pollock TACs. In terms 
of percentage, the largest increases in final 2019 and 2020 TACs 
relative to the proposed 2019 and 2020 TACs include BSAI shortraker 
rockfish and octopuses. The increases account for anticipated higher 
incidental catches of these species, based on increased incidental 
catches in 2018. Other increases in the final 2019 TACs relative to the 
proposed 2019 TACs include Bering Sea Pacific cod, Alaska plaice, 
``other flatfish,'' Pacific ocean perch, Central Aleutian and Western 
Aleutian (CAI/WAI) blackspotted/rougheye rockfish, and Western Aleutian 
Islands (WAI) Atka

[[Page 9003]]

mackerel. The 2019 increases account for higher interest in directed 
fishing or higher anticipated incidental catch needs.
    Decreases in final 2019 TACs compared to the proposed 2019 TACs 
include Bogoslof pollock, Aleutian Islands (AI) Pacific cod, BS 
sablefish, AI sablefish, yellowfin sole, arrowtooth flounder, rock 
sole, flathead sole, AI ``other rockfish,'' Eastern Aleutian Islands 
and Bering Sea (EAI/BS) Atka mackerel, Central Aleutian Islands (CAI) 
Atka mackerel, skates, and sharks. The decreases for AI Pacific cod, 
EAI/BS and CAI Atka mackerel, BS sablefish, AI sablefish, and ``other 
rockfish'' are to account for ABC constraints. The remaining decreases 
are for anticipated lower incidental catch needs of these species 
relative to 2018.
    The changes to TACs between the proposed and final harvest 
specifications are based on the most recent scientific and economic 
information and are consistent with the FMP, regulatory obligations, 
and harvest strategy as described in the proposed harvest 
specifications, including the upper limit for OY of 2.0 million mt. 
These changes are compared in Table 1A.
    Table 1 lists the Council's recommended final 2019 OFL, ABC, TAC, 
initial TAC (ITAC), and CDQ reserve allocations of the BSAI groundfish 
species or species groups; and Table 2 lists the Council's recommended 
final 2020 OFL, ABC, TAC, ITAC, and CDQ reserve allocations of the BSAI 
groundfish species or species groups. NMFS concurs in these 
recommendations. These final 2019 and 2020 TAC recommendations for the 
BSAI are within the OY range established for the BSAI and do not exceed 
the ABC for any species or species group. The apportionment of TAC 
amounts among fisheries and seasons is discussed below.

    Table 1--Final 2019 Overfishing Level (OFL), Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC), Total Allowable Catch (TAC), Initial TAC (ITAC), and CDQ Reserve
                                                        Allocation of Groundfish in the BSAI \1\
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                               2019
                 Species                               Area              -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                OFL             ABC             TAC          ITAC \2\         CDQ \3\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock \4\.............................  BS............................       3,914,000       2,163,000       1,397,000       1,257,300         139,700
                                          AI............................          64,240          52,887          19,000          17,100           1,900
                                          Bogoslof......................         183,080         137,310              75              75  ..............
Pacific cod \5\.........................  BS............................         216,000         181,000         166,475         148,662          17,813
                                          AI............................          27,400          20,600          14,214          12,693           1,521
Sablefish...............................  BS............................           3,221           1,489           1,489           1,228             205
                                          AI............................           4,350           2,008           2,008           1,632             339
Yellowfin sole..........................  BSAI..........................         290,000         263,200         154,000         137,522          16,478
Greenland turbot........................  BSAI..........................          11,362           9,658           5,294           4,500             n/a
                                          BS............................             n/a           8,431           5,125           4,356             548
                                          AI............................             n/a           1,227             169             144  ..............
Arrowtooth flounder.....................  BSAI..........................          82,939          70,673           8,000           6,800             856
Kamchatka flounder......................  BSAI..........................          10,965           9,260           5,000           4,250  ..............
Rock sole \6\...........................  BSAI..........................         122,000         118,900          47,100          42,060           5,040
Flathead sole \7\.......................  BSAI..........................          80,918          66,625          14,500          12,949           1,552
Alaska plaice...........................  BSAI..........................          39,880          33,600          18,000          15,300  ..............
Other flatfish \8\......................  BSAI..........................          21,824          16,368           6,500           5,525  ..............
Pacific ocean perch.....................  BSAI..........................          61,067          50,594          44,069          38,723             n/a
                                          BS............................             n/a          14,675          14,675          12,474  ..............
                                          EAI...........................             n/a          11,459          11,009           9,831           1,178
                                          CAI...........................             n/a           8,435           8,385           7,488             897
                                          WAI...........................             n/a          16,025          10,000           8,930           1,070
Northern rockfish.......................  BSAI..........................          15,507          12,664           6,500           5,525  ..............
Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish \9\......  BSAI..........................             676             555             279             237  ..............
                                          BS/EAI........................             n/a             351              75              64  ..............
                                          CAI/WAI.......................             n/a             204             204             173  ..............
Shortraker rockfish.....................  BSAI..........................             722             541             358             304  ..............
Other rockfish \10\.....................  BSAI..........................           1,793           1,344             663             564  ..............
                                          BS............................             n/a             956             275             234  ..............
                                          AI............................             n/a             388             388             330  ..............
Atka mackerel...........................  BSAI..........................          79,200          68,500          57,951          51,750           6,201
                                          BS/EAI........................             n/a          23,970          23,970          21,405           2,565
                                          CAI...........................             n/a          14,390          14,390          12,850           1,540
                                          WAI...........................             n/a          30,140          19,591          17,495           2,096
Skates..................................  BSAI..........................          51,152          42,714          26,000          22,100  ..............
Sculpins................................  BSAI..........................          53,201          39,995           5,000           4,250  ..............
Sharks..................................  BSAI..........................             689             517             125             106  ..............
Octopuses...............................  BSAI..........................           4,769           3,576             400             340  ..............
                                                                         -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...............................  ..............................       5,340,955       3,367,578       2,000,000       1,791,495         195,297
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ These amounts apply to the entire BSAI management area unless otherwise specified. With the exception of pollock, and for the purpose of these
  harvest specifications, the Bering Sea subarea (BS) includes the Bogoslof District.
\2\ Except for pollock, the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line and pot gear, and Amendment 80 species (Atka mackerel, yellowfin
  sole, rock sole, flathead sole, Pacific cod, and Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch), 15 percent of each TAC is put into a non-specified reserve.
  The ITAC for these species is the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of these reserves. For pollock and Amendment 80 species, ITAC is the non-
  CDQ allocation of TAC (see footnotes 3 and 4).

[[Page 9004]]

 
\3\ For the Amendment 80 species (Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Pacific cod, and Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch), 10.7
  percent of the TAC is reserved for use by CDQ participants (see Sec.  Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). Twenty percent of the sablefish TAC
  allocated to hook-and-line gear or pot gear, 7.5 percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to trawl gear, and 10.7 percent of the TACs for Bering Sea
  Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder are reserved for use by CDQ participants (see Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) and (D)). Aleutian Islands Greenland
  turbot, ``other flatfish,'' Alaska plaice, Bering Sea Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, blackspotted/rougheye rockfish,
  ``other rockfish,'' skates, sculpins, sharks, and octopuses are not allocated to the CDQ program.
\4\ Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the annual BS pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second
  for the incidental catch allowance (3.7 percent), is further allocated by sector for a pollock directed fishery as follows: inshore--50 percent;
  catcher/processor--40 percent; and motherships--10 percent. Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtracting first
  for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for the incidental catch allowance (2,400 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation
  for a pollock directed fishery.
\5\ The BS Pacific cod TAC is set to account for the 8 percent, plus 45 mt, of the BS ABC for the State of Alaska's (State) guideline harvest level in
  State waters of the BS. The AI Pacific cod TAC is set to account for the 31 percent of the AI ABC for the State guideline harvest level in State
  waters of the AI.
\6\ ``Rock sole'' includes Lepidopsetta polyxystra (Northern rock sole) and Lepidopsetta bilineata (Southern rock sole).
\7\ ``Flathead sole'' includes Hippoglossoides elassodon (flathead sole) and Hippoglossoides robustus (Bering flounder).
\8\ ``Other flatfish'' includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), Alaska plaice, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole,
  Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, rock sole, and yellowfin sole.
\9\ ``Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish'' includes Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted).
\10\ ``Other rockfish'' includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, and
  blackspotted/rougheye rockfish.
*Note: Regulatory areas and districts are defined at Sec.   679.2 (BSAI = Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area, BS = Bering Sea subarea, AI =
  Aleutian Islands subarea, EAI = Eastern Aleutian district, CAI = Central Aleutian district, WAI = Western Aleutian district).


                                            Table 1a--Comparison of Final 2019 and 2020 With Proposed 2019 and 2020 Total Allowable Catch in the BSAI
                                                                                  [Amounts are in metric tons]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                             2019                                                      2020
                                                                               2019 Final      2019          2019         Percentage     2020 Final      2020          2020         Percentage
                   Species                                Area \1\                TAC        Proposed     Difference      difference        TAC        Proposed     Difference      difference
                                                                                               TAC       from proposed   from proposed                   TAC       from proposed   from proposed
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock......................................  BS...........................    1,397,000    1,384,200          12,800             0.9    1,420,000    1,384,200          35,800             2.6
                                               AI...........................       19,000       19,000  ..............  ..............       19,000       19,000  ..............  ..............
                                               Bogoslof.....................           75          500           (425)          (85.0)           75          500           (425)          (85.0)
Pacific cod..................................  BS...........................      166,475      156,355          10,120             6.5      124,625      156,355        (31,730)          (20.3)
                                               AI...........................       14,214       14,835           (621)           (4.2)       14,214       14,835           (621)           (4.2)
Sablefish....................................  BS...........................        1,489        2,061           (572)          (27.8)        1,994        2,061            (67)           (3.3)
                                               AI...........................        2,008        2,798           (790)          (28.2)        2,688        2,798           (110)           (3.9)
Yellowfin sole...............................  BSAI.........................      154,000      156,000         (2,000)           (1.3)      166,425      156,000          10,425             6.7
Greenland turbot.............................  BS...........................        5,125        5,125  ..............  ..............        5,125        5,125  ..............  ..............
                                               AI...........................          169          169  ..............  ..............          169          169  ..............  ..............
Arrowtooth flounder..........................  BSAI.........................        8,000       14,000         (6,000)          (42.9)        8,000       14,000         (6,000)          (42.9)
Kamchatka flounder...........................  BSAI.........................        5,000        5,000  ..............  ..............        5,000        5,000  ..............  ..............
Rock sole....................................  BSAI.........................       47,100       49,100         (2,000)           (4.1)       57,100       49,100           8,000            16.3
Flathead sole................................  BSAI.........................       14,500       16,500         (2,000)          (12.1)       14,500       16,500         (2,000)          (12.1)
Alaska plaice................................  BSAI.........................       18,000       16,252           1,748            10.8       18,000       16,252           1,748            10.8
Other flatfish...............................  BSAI.........................        6,500        4,000           2,500            62.5        6,500        4,000           2,500            62.5
Pacific ocean perch..........................  BS...........................       14,675       11,499           3,176            27.6       14,274       11,499           2,775            24.1
                                               EAI..........................       11,009        9,715           1,294            13.3       11,146        9,715           1,431            14.7
                                               CAI..........................        8,385        7,549             836            11.1        8,205        7,549             656             8.7
                                               WAI..........................       10,000        9,117             883             9.7       10,000        9,117             883             9.7
Northern rockfish............................  BSAI.........................        6,500        6,500  ..............  ..............        6,500        6,500  ..............  ..............
Blackspotted and Rougheye rockfish...........  BS/EAI.......................           75           75  ..............  ..............           75           75  ..............  ..............
                                               CAI/WAI......................          204          150              54            36.0          204          150              54            36.0
Shortraker rockfish..........................  BSAI.........................          358          150             208           138.7          358          150             208           138.7
Other rockfish...............................  BS...........................          275          275  ..............  ..............          275          275  ..............  ..............
                                               AI...........................          388          570           (182)          (31.9)          388  ...........           (182)          (31.9)
Atka mackerel................................  EAI/BS.......................       23,970       33,780         (9,810)          (29.0)       22,190       33,780        (11,590)          (34.3)
                                               CAI..........................       14,390       24,895        (10,505)          (42.2)       13,310       24,895        (11,585)          (46.5)
                                               WAI..........................       19,591       13,825           5,766            41.7       18,135       13,825           4,310            31.2
Skates.......................................  BSAI.........................       26,000       27,000         (1,000)           (3.7)       26,000       27,000         (1,000)           (3.7)
Sculpins.....................................  BSAI.........................        5,000        5,000  ..............  ..............        5,000        5,000  ..............  ..............
Sharks.......................................  BSAI.........................          125          180            (55)          (30.6)          125          180            (55)          (30.6)
Octopuses....................................  BSAI.........................          400          200             200           100.0          400          200             200           100.0
                                              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total....................................  BSAI.........................    2,000,000    1,996,375           3,625             0.2    2,000,000    1,996,375           3,625             0.2
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Bering Sea subarea (BS), Aleutian Islands subarea (AI), Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI), Eastern Aleutian District (EAI), Central Aleutian District (CAI), and
  Western Aleutian District (WAI).


    Table 2--Final 2020 Overfishing Level (OFL), Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC), Total Allowable Catch (TAC), Initial TAC (ITAC), and CDQ Reserve
                                                        Allocation of Groundfish in the BSAI \1\
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                               2020
                 Species                               Area              -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                OFL             ABC             TAC          ITAC \2\         CDQ \3\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock \4\.............................  BS............................       3,082,000       1,792,000       1,420,000       1,278,000         142,000
                                          AI............................          66,981          55,125          19,000          17,100           1,900
                                          Bogoslof......................         183,080         137,310              75              75  ..............

[[Page 9005]]

 
Pacific cod \5\.........................  BS............................         183,000         137,000         124,625         111,290          13,335
                                          AI............................          27,400          20,600          14,214          12,693           1,521
Sablefish...............................  BS............................           4,441           1,994           1,994             847              75
                                          AI............................           5,997           2,688           2,688             571              50
Yellowfin sole..........................  BSAI..........................         284,000         257,800         166,425         148,618          17,807
Greenland turbot........................  BSAI..........................          10,476           8,908           5,294           4,500             n/a
                                          BS............................             n/a           7,777           5,125           4,356             548
                                          AI............................             n/a           1,131             169             144  ..............
Arrowtooth flounder.....................  BSAI..........................          83,814          71,411           8,000           6,800             856
Kamchatka flounder......................  BSAI..........................          11,260           9,509           5,000           4,250  ..............
Rock sole \6\...........................  BSAI..........................         147,500         143,700          57,100          50,990           6,110
Flathead sole \7\.......................  BSAI..........................          83,190          68,448          14,500          12,949           1,552
Alaska plaice...........................  BSAI..........................          37,860          31,900          18,000          15,300  ..............
Other flatfish \8\......................  BSAI..........................          21,824          16,368           6,500           5,525  ..............
Pacific ocean perch.....................  BSAI..........................          59,396          49,211          43,625          38,343             n/a
                                          BS............................             n/a          14,274          14,274          12,133  ..............
                                          EAI...........................             n/a          11,146          11,146           9,953           1,193
                                          CAI...........................             n/a           8,205           8,205           7,327             878
                                          WAI...........................             n/a          15,586          10,000           8,930           1,070
Northern rockfish.......................  BSAI..........................          15,180          12,396           6,500           5,525  ..............
Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish \9\......  BSAI..........................             868             715             279             237  ..............
                                          BS/EAI........................             n/a             448              75              64  ..............
                                          CAI/WAI.......................             n/a             267             204             173  ..............
Shortraker rockfish.....................  BSAI..........................             722             541             358             304  ..............
Other rockfish \10\.....................  BSAI..........................           1,793           1,344             663             564  ..............
                                          BS............................             n/a             956             275             234  ..............
                                          AI............................             n/a             388             388             330  ..............
Atka mackerel...........................  BSAI..........................          73,400          63,400          53,635          47,896           5,739
                                          EAI/BS........................             n/a          22,190          22,190          19,816           2,374
                                          CAI...........................             n/a          13,310          13,310          11,886           1,424
                                          WAI...........................             n/a          27,900          18,135          16,195           1,940
Skates..................................  BSAI..........................          48,944          40,813          26,000          22,100  ..............
Sculpins................................  BSAI..........................          53,201          39,995           5,000           4,250  ..............
Sharks..................................  BSAI..........................             689             517             125             106  ..............
Octopuses...............................  BSAI..........................           4,769           3,576             400             340  ..............
                                                                         -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...............................  ..............................       4,491,785       2,967,269       2,000,000       1,789,174         194,634
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ These amounts apply to the entire BSAI management area unless otherwise specified. With the exception of pollock, and for the purpose of these
  harvest specifications, the Bering Sea subarea (BS) includes the Bogoslof District.
\2\ Except for pollock, the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line and pot gear, and Amendment 80 species (Atka mackerel, flathead
  sole, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Pacific cod, and Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch), 15 percent of each TAC is put into a non-specified reserve.
  The ITAC for these species is the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of these reserves. For pollock and Amendment 80 species, ITAC is the non-
  CDQ allocation of TAC (see footnotes 3 and 4).
\3\ For the Amendment 80 species (Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Pacific cod, and Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch), 10.7
  percent of the TAC is reserved for use by CDQ participants (see Sec.  Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). Twenty percent of the sablefish TAC
  allocated to hook-and-line gear or pot gear, 7.5 percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to trawl gear, and 10.7 percent of the TACs for Bering Sea
  Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder are reserved for use by CDQ participants (see Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) and (D)). Aleutian Islands Greenland
  turbot, ``other flatfish,'' Alaska plaice, Bering Sea Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, blackspotted/rougheye rockfish,
  ``other rockfish,'' skates, sculpins, sharks, and octopuses are not allocated to the CDQ program.
\4\ Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the annual BS pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second
  for the incidental catch allowance (3.7 percent), is further allocated by sector for a pollock directed fishery as follows: inshore--50 percent;
  catcher/processor--40 percent; and motherships--10 percent. Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtracting first
  for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for the incidental catch allowance (2,400 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation
  for a pollock directed fishery.
\5\ Assuming an increase in the 2020 guideline harvest level based on the actual 2019 harvest, the 2020 BS Pacific cod TAC is set to account for the 9
  percent, plus 45 mt, of the BS ABC for the State of Alaska's (State) guideline harvest level in State waters of the BS. The 2020 AI Pacific cod TAC is
  set to account for the 31 percent of the AI ABC for the State guideline harvest level in State waters of the AI.
\6\ ``Rock sole'' includes Lepidopsetta polyxystra (Northern rock sole) and Lepidopsetta bilineata (Southern rock sole).
\7\ ``Flathead sole'' includes Hippoglossoides elassodon (flathead sole) and Hippoglossoides robustus (Bering flounder).
\8\ ``Other flatfish'' includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), Alaska plaice, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole,
  Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, rock sole, and yellowfin sole.
\9\ ``Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish'' includes Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted).
\10\ ``Other rockfish'' includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, and
  blackspotted/rougheye rockfish.
Note: Regulatory areas and districts are defined at Sec.   679.2 (BSAI = Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area, BS = Bering Sea subarea, AI =
  Aleutian Islands subarea, EAI = Eastern Aleutian district, CAI = Central Aleutian district, WAI = Western Aleutian district).


[[Page 9006]]

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

    Section 679.20(b)(1)(i) requires that NMFS reserves 15 percent of 
the TAC for each target species, except for pollock, hook-and-line and 
pot gear allocation of sablefish, and Amendment 80 species, in a non-
specified reserve. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires that NMFS 
allocate 20 percent of the hook-and-line or pot gear allocation of 
sablefish for the fixed-gear sablefish CDQ reserve for each subarea. 
Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D) requires that NMFS allocate 7.5 percent of 
the trawl gear allocations of sablefish in the BS and AI and 10.7 
percent of the Bering Sea Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder TACs 
to the respective CDQ reserves. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) requires 
that NMFS allocate 10.7 percent of the TACs for Atka mackerel, Aleutian 
Islands Pacific ocean perch, yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole, 
and Pacific cod to the respective CDQ reserves. Sections 
679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) and 679.31(a) also require that 10 percent of the 
Bering Sea pollock TAC be allocated to the pollock CDQ directed fishing 
allowance (DFA). Sections 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and 679.31(a) 
require that 10 percent of the Aleutian Islands pollock TAC be 
allocated to the pollock CDQ DFA. The entire Bogoslof District pollock 
TAC is allocated as an ICA pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(ii) because 
the Bogoslof District is closed to directed fishing for pollock by 
regulation (Sec.  679.22(a)(7)(i)(B)). With the exception of the hook-
and-line or pot gear sablefish CDQ reserve, the regulations do not 
further apportion the CDQ allocations by gear.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), NMFS allocates a pollock 
ICA of 3.7 percent of the BS pollock TAC after subtracting the 10 
percent CDQ DFA. This allowance is based on NMFS's examination of the 
pollock incidental catch, including the incidental catch by CDQ 
vessels, in target fisheries other than pollock from 2000 through 2018. 
During this 19-year period, the pollock incidental catch ranged from a 
low of 2.2 percent in 2006 to a high of 4.6 percent in 2014, with a 19-
year average of 3 percent. Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) 
and (ii), NMFS establishes a pollock ICA of 2,400 mt of the AI pollock 
TAC after subtracting the 10 percent CDQ DFA. This allowance is based 
on NMFS's examination of the pollock incidental catch, including the 
incidental catch by CDQ vessels, in target fisheries other than pollock 
from 2003 through 2018. During this 16-year period, the incidental 
catch of pollock ranged from a low of 5 percent in 2006 to a high of 17 
percent in 2014, with a 16-year average of 8 percent.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8) and (10), NMFS allocates ICAs of 
3,000 mt of flathead sole, 6,000 mt of rock sole, 4,000 mt of yellowfin 
sole, 10 mt of WAI Pacific ocean perch, 60 mt of CAI Pacific ocean 
perch, 100 mt of EAI Pacific ocean perch, 20 mt of WAI Atka mackerel, 
75 mt of CAI Atka mackerel, and 800 mt of EAI and BS Atka mackerel TAC 
after subtracting the 10.7 percent CDQ reserve. These ICA allowances 
are based on NMFS's examination of the incidental catch in other target 
fisheries from 2003 through 2018.
    The regulations do not designate the remainder of the non-specified 
reserve by species or species group. Any amount of the reserve may be 
apportioned to a target species that contributed to the non-specified 
reserves during the year, provided that such apportionments are 
consistent with Sec.  679.20(a)(3) and do not result in overfishing 
(see Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(i)). The Regional Administrator has determined 
that the ITACs specified for the species listed in Table 1 need to be 
supplemented from the non-specified reserve because U.S. fishing 
vessels have demonstrated the capacity to catch the full TAC 
allocations. Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  679.20(b)(3), NMFS is 
apportioning the amounts shown in Table 3 from the non-specified 
reserve to increase the ITAC for AI ``other rockfish'' by 15 percent of 
the ``other rockfish'' TAC in 2019 and 2020.

                                 Table 3--Final 2019 and 2020 Apportionment of Non-Specified Reserves to ITAC Categories
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                           2019 Reserve     2019 Final                     2020 Reserve     2020 Final
                 Species-area or subarea                     2019 ITAC        amount           ITAC          2020 ITAC        amount           ITAC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other rockfish-Aleutian Islands subarea.................             330              58             388             330              58             388
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...............................................             330              58             388             330              58             388
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

    Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) requires that the BS pollock TAC be 
apportioned as a DFA, after subtracting 10 percent for the CDQ program 
and 3.7 percent for the ICA, as follows: 50 percent to the inshore 
sector, 40 percent to the catcher/processor (C/P) sector, and 10 
percent to the mothership sector. In the BS, 45 percent of the DFA is 
allocated to the A season (January 20-June 10), and 55 percent of the 
DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10-November 1) (Sec. Sec.  
679.20(a)(5)(i)(B)(1) and 679.23(e)(2)). The Aleutian Islands directed 
pollock fishery allocation to the Aleut Corporation is the amount of 
pollock TAC remaining in the AI after subtracting 1,900 mt for the CDQ 
DFA (10 percent) and 2,400 mt for the ICA (Sec.  
679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)). In the AI, the total A season apportionment 
of the TAC (including the AI directed fishery allocation, the CDQ 
seasonal allowance, and the ICA) may equal up to 40 percent of the ABC 
for AI pollock, and the remainder of the TAC is allocated to the B 
season (Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(3)). Tables 4 and 5 list these 2019 
and 2020 amounts.
    Section 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(6) sets harvest limits for pollock in 
the A season (January 20 to June 10) in Areas 543, 542, and 541. In 
Area 543, the A season pollock harvest limit is no more than 5 percent 
of the Aleutian Islands pollock ABC. In Area 542, the A season pollock 
harvest limit is no more than 15 percent of the Aleutian Islands 
pollock ABC. In Area 541, the A season pollock harvest limit is no more 
than 30 percent of the Aleutian Islands pollock ABC.
    Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4) also includes several specific 
requirements regarding BS pollock allocations. First, it requires that 
8.5 percent of the pollock allocated to the C/P sector be available for 
harvest by AFA catcher vessels (CVs) with C/P sector endorsements, 
unless the Regional Administrator receives a cooperative contract that 
allows the distribution of harvest among AFA C/Ps and AFA CVs in a 
manner agreed to by all members. Second, AFA C/Ps not listed in the AFA 
are limited to harvesting not more than

[[Page 9007]]

0.5 percent of the pollock allocated to the C/P sector. Tables 4 and 5 
list the 2019 and 2020 allocations of pollock TAC. Tables 20 through 25 
list the AFA C/P and CV harvesting sideboard limits. The tables for the 
pollock allocations to the BS inshore pollock cooperatives and open 
access sector will be posted on the Alaska Region website at https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
    Tables 4 and 5 also list seasonal apportionments of pollock and 
harvest limits within the Steller Sea Lion Conservation Area (SCA). The 
harvest of pollock within the SCA, as defined at Sec.  
679.22(a)(7)(vii), is limited to no more than 28 percent of the annual 
pollock DFA before 12 noon, April 1, as provided in Sec.  
679.20(a)(5)(i)(C). The A season pollock SCA harvest limit will be 
apportioned to each sector in proportion to each sector's allocated 
percentage of the DFA. Tables 4 and 5 list these 2019 and 2020 amounts 
by sector.

    Table 4--Final 2019 Allocations of Pollock TACs to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ Directed
                                          Fishing Allowances (DFA) \1\
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         2019 A season \1\         2019 B season
                                                       2019      --------------------------------       \1\
                 Area and sector                    Allocations                     SCA harvest  ---------------
                                                                   A season DFA      limit \2\     B season DFA
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea subarea TAC \1\......................       1,397,000             n/a             n/a             n/a
CDQ DFA.........................................         139,700          62,865          39,116          76,835
ICA \1\.........................................          46,520             n/a             n/a             n/a
Total Bering Sea non-CDQ DFA....................       1,210,780         544,851         339,018         665,929
AFA Inshore.....................................         605,390         272,425         169,509         332,964
AFA Catcher/Processors \3\......................         484,312         217,940         135,607         266,372
    Catch by C/Ps...............................         443,145         199,415             n/a         243,730
    Catch by CVs \3\............................          41,167          18,525             n/a          22,642
    Unlisted C/P Limit \4\......................           2,422           1,090             n/a           1,332
AFA Motherships.................................         121,078          54,485          33,902          66,593
Excessive Harvesting Limit \5\..................         211,886             n/a             n/a             n/a
Excessive Processing Limit \6\..................         363,234             n/a             n/a             n/a
Aleutian Islands subarea ABC....................          52,887             n/a             n/a             n/a
Aleutian Islands subarea TAC \1\................          19,000             n/a             n/a             n/a
CDQ DFA.........................................           1,900           1,900             n/a
ICA.............................................           2,400           1,200             n/a           1,200
Aleut Corporation...............................          14,700          14,700             n/a
Area harvest limit \7\..........................             n/a             n/a             n/a             n/a
    541.........................................          15,866             n/a             n/a             n/a
    542.........................................           7,933             n/a             n/a             n/a
    543.........................................           2,644             n/a             n/a             n/a
Bogoslof District ICA \8\.......................              75             n/a             n/a             n/a
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC, after subtracting the CDQ DFA (10
  percent) and the ICA (3.7 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: Inshore sector--50 percent, catcher/
  processor sector (C/P)--40 percent, and mothership sector--10 percent. In the Bering Sea subarea, 45 percent
  of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20-June 10) and 55 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B
  season (June 10-November 1). Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2), the annual Aleutian Islands pollock
  TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and second for the ICA (2,400 mt), is allocated to
  the Aleut Corporation for a pollock directed fishery. In the Aleutian Islands subarea, the A season is
  allocated up to 40 percent of the ABC for AI pollock.
\2\ In the Bering Sea subarea, pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(C), no more than 28 percent of each sector's
  annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before noon, April 1.
\3\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed C/Ps shall be available
  for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels with a C/P endorsement delivering to listed C/Ps, unless there is
  a C/P sector cooperative for the year.
\4\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting
  not more than 0.5 percent of the catcher/processors sector's allocation of pollock.
\5\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6), NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5
  percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs.
\6\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7), NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0
  percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs.
\7\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(6), NMFS establishes harvest limits for pollock in the A season in
  Area 541 of no more than 30 percent, in Area 542 of no more than 15 percent, and in Area 543 of no more than 5
  percent of the Aleutian Islands pollock ABC.
\8\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.22(a)(7)(B), the Bogoslof District is closed to directed fishing for pollock. The
  amounts specified are for incidental catch only and are not apportioned by season or sector.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


    Table 5--Final 2020 Allocations of Pollock TACs to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ Directed
                                          Fishing Allowances (DFA) \1\
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         2020 A season \1\         2020 B season
                                                       2020      --------------------------------       \1\
                 Area and sector                    Allocations                     SCA harvest  ---------------
                                                                   A season DFA      limit \2\     B season DFA
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea subarea TAC \1\......................       1,420,000             n/a             n/a             n/a
CDQ DFA.........................................         142,000          63,900          39,760          78,100
ICA \1\.........................................          47,286             n/a             n/a             n/a
Total Bering Sea non-CDQ DFA....................       1,230,714         553,821         344,600         676,893
AFA Inshore.....................................         615,357         276,911         172,300         338,446

[[Page 9008]]

 
AFA Catcher/Processors \3\......................         492,286         221,529         137,840         270,757
    Catch by C/Ps...............................         450,441         202,699             n/a         247,743
    Catch by CVs \3\............................          41,844          18,830             n/a          23,014
    Unlisted C/P Limit \4\......................           2,461           1,108             n/a           1,354
AFA Motherships.................................         123,071          55,382          34,460          67,689
Excessive Harvesting Limit \5\..................         215,375             n/a             n/a             n/a
Excessive Processing Limit \6\..................         369,214             n/a             n/a             n/a
Aleutian Islands subarea ABC....................          30,803             n/a             n/a             n/a
Aleutian Islands subarea TAC \1\................          19,000             n/a             n/a             n/a
CDQ DFA.........................................           1,900             760             n/a           1,140
ICA.............................................           2,400           1,200             n/a           1,200
Aleut Corporation...............................          14,700          10,361             n/a           4,339
Area harvest limit \7\ 541......................           9,241             n/a             n/a             n/a
542.............................................           4,620             n/a             n/a             n/a
543.............................................           1,540             n/a             n/a             n/a
Bogoslof District ICA \8\.......................             500             n/a             n/a             n/a
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC, after subtracting the CDQ DFA (10
  percent) and the ICA (3.7 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: Inshore sector--50 percent, catcher/
  processor sector (C/P)--40 percent, and mothership sector--10 percent. In the Bering Sea subarea, 45 percent
  of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20-June 10) and 55 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B
  season (June 10-November 1). Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2), the annual Aleutian Islands pollock
  TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and second for the ICA (2,400 mt), is allocated to
  the Aleut Corporation for a pollock directed fishery. In the Aleutian Islands subarea, the A season is
  allocated up to 40 percent of the ABC for AI pollock.
\2\ In the Bering Sea subarea, pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(C), no more than 28 percent of each sector's
  annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before noon, April 1.
\3\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed C/Ps shall be available
  for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels with a C/P endorsement delivering to listed C/Ps, unless there is
  a C/P sector cooperative for the year.
\4\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting
  not more than 0.5 percent of the catcher/processors sector's allocation of pollock.
\5\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6), NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5
  percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs.
\6\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7), NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0
  percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs.
\7\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(6), NMFS establishes harvest limits for pollock in the A season in
  Area 541 of no more than 30 percent, in Area 542 of no more than 15 percent, and in Area 543 of no more than 5
  percent of the Aleutian Islands pollock ABC.
\8\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.22(a)(7)(B), the Bogoslof District is closed to directed fishing for pollock. The
  amounts specified are for incidental catch only and are not apportioned by season or sector.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

Allocation of the Atka Mackerel TACs

    Section 679.20(a)(8) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs to the 
Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors, after subtracting 
the CDQ reserves, ICAs for the BSAI trawl limited access sector and 
non-trawl gear sector, and the jig gear allocation (Tables 6 and 7). 
The percentage of the ITAC for Atka mackerel allocated to the Amendment 
80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is listed in Table 33 to 50 
CFR part 679 and in Sec.  679.91. Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(i), up 
to 2 percent of the EAI and the BS Atka mackerel ITAC may be allocated 
to vessels using jig gear. The percent of this allocation is 
recommended annually by the Council based on several criteria, 
including, among other criteria, the anticipated harvest capacity of 
the jig gear fleet. The Council recommended, and NMFS approves, a 0.5 
percent allocation of the Atka mackerel ITAC in the EAI and BS to the 
jig gear sector in 2019 and 2020.
    Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) apportions the Atka mackerel TAC into 
two equal seasonal allowances. Section 679.23(e)(3) sets the first 
seasonal allowance for directed fishing with trawl gear from January 20 
through June 10 (A season), and the second seasonal allowance from June 
10 through December 31 (B season). Section 679.23(e)(4)(iii) applies 
Atka mackerel seasons to CDQ Atka mackerel trawl fishing. The ICAs and 
jig gear allocations are not apportioned by season.
    Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(i) and (ii) limits Atka mackerel 
catch within waters 0 nm to 20 nm of Steller sea lion sites listed in 
Table 6 to 50 CFR part 679 and located west of 178[deg] W longitude to 
no more than 60 percent of the annual TACs in Areas 542 and 543, and 
equally divides the annual TACs between the A and B seasons as defined 
at Sec.  679.23(e)(3). Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(2) requires that the 
annual TAC in Area 543 will be no more than 65 percent of the ABC in 
Area 543. Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(D) requires that any unharvested 
Atka mackerel A season allowance that is added to the B season be 
prohibited from being harvested within waters 0 nm to 20 nm of Steller 
sea lion sites listed in Table 6 to 50 CFR part 679 and located in 
Areas 541, 542, and 543.
    Tables 6 and 7 list these 2019 and 2020 Atka mackerel seasonal and 
area allowances, and the sector allocations. One Amendment 80 
cooperative has formed for the 2019 fishing year. Because all Amendment 
80 vessels are part of the sole Amendment 80 cooperative, no allocation 
to the Amendment 80 limited access sector is required for 2019. The 
2020 allocations for Atka mackerel between Amendment 80 cooperatives 
and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until 
eligible participants apply for participation in the program by 
November 1, 2019.

[[Page 9009]]



 Table 6--Final 2019 Seasonal and Spatial Allowances, Gear Shares, CDQ Reserve, Incidental Catch Allowance, and
                             Amendment 80 Allocations of the BSAI Atka Mackerel TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         2019 Allocation by area
                                                        --------------------------------------------------------
            Sector \1\                 Season 2 3 4       Eastern Aleutian
                                                          district/Bering    Central Aleutian   Western Aleutian
                                                                Sea            District \5\         District
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC..............................  n/a.................             23,970             14,390             19,591
CDQ reserve......................  Total...............              2,565              1,540              2,096
                                   A...................              1,282                770              1,048
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                462                629
                                   B...................              1,282                770              1,048
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                462                629
Non-CDQ TAC......................  n/a.................             21,405             12,850             17,495
ICA..............................  Total...............                800                 75                 20
Jig \7\..........................  Total...............                103
BSAI trawl limited access........  Total...............              2,050              1,278
                                   A...................              1,025                639
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                383
                                   B...................              1,025                639
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                383
Amendment 80 sector..............  Total...............             18,452             11,498             17,475
                                   A...................              9,226              5,749              8,737
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a              3,449              5,242
                                   B...................              9,226              5,749              8,737
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a              3,449              5,242
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtracting the CDQ reserves, jig gear
  allocation, and ICAs, to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC
  for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to 50
  CFR part 679 and Sec.   679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see
  Sec.  Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31).
\2\ Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel
  fishery.
\3\ The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season.
\4\ Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from
  January 20 to June 10 and the B season from June 10 to December 31.
\5\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(i) limits no more than 60 percent of the annual TACs in Areas 542 and 543 to
  be caught inside of Steller sea lion critical habitat; section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(ii) equally divides the
  annual TACs between the A and B seasons as defined at Sec.   679.23(e)(3); and section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(2)
  requires the TAC in Area 543 shall be no more than 65 percent of ABC in Area 543.
\6\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea
  subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtracting the CDQ reserve and the ICA. NMFS sets the amount of
  this allocation for 2019 at 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


 Table 7--Final 2020 Seasonal and Spatial Allowances, Gear Shares, CDQ Reserve, Incidental Catch Allowance, and
                              Amendment 80 Allocation of the BSAI Atka Mackerel TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         2020 Allocation by area
                                                        --------------------------------------------------------
            Sector \1\                 Season 2 3 4       Eastern Aleutian
                                                          District/Bering    Central Aleutian   Western Aleutian
                                                              Sea \5\          District \5\       District \5\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC..............................  n/a.................             22,190             13,310             18,135
CDQ reserve......................  Total...............              2,374              1,424              1,940
                                   A...................              1,187                712                970
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                427                582
                                   B...................              1,187                712                970
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                427                582
non-CDQ TAC......................  n/a.................             19,816             11,886             16,195
ICA..............................  Total...............                800                 75                 20
Jig \7\..........................  Total...............                 95  .................  .................
BSAI trawl limited access........  Total...............              1,892              1,181                  -
                                   A...................                946                591  .................
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                354  .................
                                   B...................                946                591  .................
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a                354  .................
Amendment 80 sectors \7\.........  Total...............             17,029             10,630             16,175
                                   A...................              8,514              5,315              8,087
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a              3,189              4,852
                                   B...................              8,514              5,315              8,087

[[Page 9010]]

 
                                   Critical Habitat....                n/a              3,189              4,852
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtracting the CDQ reserves, jig gear
  allocation, and ICAs, to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC
  for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is established in Table 33 to 50
  CFR part 679 and Sec.   679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see
  Sec.  Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31).
\2\ Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel
  fishery.
\3\ The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season.
\4\ Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from
  January 20 to June 10 and the B season from June 10 to December 31.
\5\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(i) limits no more than 60 percent of the annual TACs in Areas 542 and 543 to
  be caught inside of Steller sea lion critical habitat; section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(ii) equally divides the
  annual TACs between the A and B seasons as defined at Sec.   679.23(e)(3); and section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(2)
  requires the TAC in Area 543 shall be no more than 65 percent of ABC in Area 543.
\6\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea
  subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after subtracting the CDQ reserve and the ICA. NMFS sets the amount of
  this allocation for 2020 at 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season.
\7\ The 2020 allocations for Atka mackerel between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access
  sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1,
  2019.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

Allocation of the Pacific Cod TAC

    The Council separated Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands subarea OFLs, 
ABCs, and TACs for Pacific cod in 2014 (79 FR 12108, March 4, 2014). 
Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) allocates 10.7 percent of the Bering Sea 
TAC and the Aleutian Islands TAC to the CDQ program. After CDQ 
allocations have been deducted from the respective Bering Sea and 
Aleutian Islands Pacific cod TACs, the remaining Bering Sea and 
Aleutian Islands Pacific cod TACs are combined for calculating further 
BSAI Pacific cod sector allocations. If the non-CDQ Pacific cod TAC is 
or will be reached in either the Bering Sea or the Aleutian Islands 
subareas, NMFS will prohibit non-CDQ directed fishing for Pacific cod 
in that subarea as provided in Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii).
    Section 679.20(a)(7)(i) and (ii) allocates to the non-CDQ sectors 
the Pacific cod TAC in the combined BSAI TAC, after subtracting 10.7 
percent for the CDQ program, as follows: 1.4 percent to vessels using 
jig gear; 2.0 percent to hook-and-line or pot CVs less than 60 ft (18.3 
m) length overall (LOA); 0.2 percent to hook-and-line CVs greater than 
or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA; 48.7 percent to hook-and-line C/Ps; 8.4 
percent to pot CVs greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA; 1.5 
percent to pot C/Ps; 2.3 percent to AFA trawl C/Ps; 13.4 percent to 
Amendment 80 sector; and 22.1 percent to trawl CVs. The ICA for the 
hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate 
portion of Pacific cod TAC allocated to the hook-and-line and pot 
sectors. For 2019 and 2020, the Regional Administrator establishes an 
ICA of 400 mt based on anticipated incidental catch by these sectors in 
other fisheries.
    The ITAC allocation of Pacific cod to the Amendment 80 sector is 
established in Table 33 to 50 CFR part 679 and Sec.  679.91. One 
Amendment 80 cooperative has formed for the 2019 fishing year. Because 
all Amendment 80 vessels are part of the sole Amendment 80 cooperative, 
no allocation to the Amendment 80 limited access sector is required for 
2019. The 2020 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 
80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be 
known until eligible participants apply for participation in the 
program by November 1, 2019.
    The sector allocations of Pacific cod are apportioned into seasonal 
allowances to disperse the Pacific cod fisheries over the fishing year 
(see Sec. Sec.  679.20(a)(7)(i)(B), 679.20(a)(7)(iv)(A), and 
679.23(e)(5)). In accordance with Sec.  679.20(a)(7)(iv)(B) and (C), 
any unused portion of a seasonal Pacific cod allowance for any sector, 
except the jig sector, will become available at the beginning of that 
sector's next seasonal allowance.
    Section 679.20(a)(7)(vii) requires that the Regional Administrator 
establish an Area 543 Pacific cod harvest limit based on Pacific cod 
abundance in Area 543. Based on the 2018 stock assessment, the Regional 
Administrator determined the Pacific cod abundance in Area 543 to be 
15.7 percent for 2019 and 2020. NMFS will first subtract the State GHL 
Pacific cod amount from the Aleutian Islands Pacific cod ABC. Then NMFS 
will determine the harvest limit in Area 543 by multiplying the 
percentage of Pacific cod estimated in Area 543 by the remaining ABC 
for Aleutian Islands Pacific cod. Based on these calculations, the Area 
543 harvest limit is 2,232 mt for 2019 and 2020.
    Section 679.20(a)(7)(viii) requires specification of annual Pacific 
cod allocations for the Aleutian Islands non-CDQ ICA, non-CDQ DFA, CV 
Harvest Set-Aside, and Unrestricted Fishery, as well as the Bering Sea 
Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation. The CV Harvest Set-Aside is a 
portion of the AI Pacific cod TAC that is available for harvest by 
catcher vessels directed fishing for AI Pacific cod and delivering 
their catch for processing to an AI shoreplant. If NMFS receives 
notification of intent to process AI Pacific cod from either the City 
of Adak or the City of Atka by October 31 of the previous year, the 
harvest limits in Tables 9a or 9b will be in effect in the following 
year.
    Prior to October 31, 2018, NMFS received timely and complete notice 
from the City of Adak indicating an intent to process AI Pacific cod in 
2019. Accordingly, the harvest limits in Table 9a will be in effect in 
2019, subject to the requirements outlined in Sec.  
679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E). If less than 1,000 mt of the Aleutian Islands CV 
Harvest Set-Aside is delivered at Aleutian Islands shoreplants by 
February 28, 2019, then the Aleutian Islands CV Harvest Set-Aside is 
lifted and the Bering Sea Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation is 
suspended. If the entire Aleutian Islands CV Harvest Set-Aside

[[Page 9011]]

is fully harvested and delivered to Aleutian Islands shoreplants before 
March 15, 2019, then the Bering Sea Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation 
will be suspended for the remainder of the fishing year.
    If NMFS receives notice of intent to process AI Pacific cod from 
either the City of Adak or the City of Atka prior to October 31, 2019, 
for the 2020 fishing year, Table 9b will be in effect in 2020, subject 
to the requirements outlined in Sec.  679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E).
    The CDQ and non-CDQ seasonal allowances by gear based on the 2019 
and 2020 Pacific cod TACs are listed in Tables 8 and 9, and are based 
on the sector allocation percentages of Pacific cod set forth at Sec.  
679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) and (a)(7)(iv)(A); and the seasons set forth at 
Sec.  679.23(e)(5).

               Table 8--Final 2019 Gear Shares and Seasonal Allowances of the BSAI Pacific Cod TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 2019 Share of                     2019 Seasonal apportionment
          Gear sector               Percent       gear sector    2019 Share of ---------------------------------
                                                     total       sector total        Seasons          Amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BS TAC........................             n/a         166,475             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
BS CDQ........................             n/a          17,813             n/a  see Sec.                     n/a
                                                                                 679.20(a)(7)(i)
                                                                                 (B).
BS non-CDQ TAC................             n/a         148,662             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
AI TAC........................             n/a          14,214             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
AI CDQ........................             n/a           1,521             n/a  see Sec.                     n/a
                                                                                 679.20(a)(7)(i)
                                                                                 (B).
AI non-CDQ TAC................             n/a          12,693             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Western Aleutian Island Limit.             n/a           2,232             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Total BSAI non-CDQ TAC \1\....             100         161,355             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Total hook-and-line/pot gear..            60.8          98,104             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Hook-and-line/pot ICA \2\.....             n/a             400             n/a  see Sec.                     n/a
                                                                                 679.20(a)(7)(ii
                                                                                 )(B).
Hook-and-line/pot sub-total...             n/a          97,704             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Hook-and-line catcher/                    48.7             n/a          78,260  Jan 1-Jun 10....          39,912
 processor.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Dec 31...          38,347
Hook-and-line catcher vessel               0.2             n/a             321  Jan 1-Jun 10....             164
 >= 60 ft LOA.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Dec 31...             157
Pot catcher/processor.........             1.5             n/a           2,410  Jan 1-Jun 10....           1,229
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Sept 1-Dec 31...           1,181
Pot catcher vessel >= 60 ft                8.4             n/a          13,499  Jan 1-Jun 10....           6,884
 LOA.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Sept 1-Dec 31...           6,614
Catcher vessel < 60 ft LOA                 2.0             n/a           3,214  n/a.............             n/a
 using hook-and-line or pot
 gear.
Trawl catcher vessel..........            22.1          35,660             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....          26,388
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....           3,923
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....           5,349
AFA trawl catcher/processor...             2.3           3,711             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....           2,783
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....             928
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....  ..............
Amendment 80..................            13.4          21,622             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....          16,216
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....           5,405
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....  ..............
Jig...........................             1.4           2,259             n/a  Jan 1-Apr 30....           1,355
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 30-Aug 31...             452
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Aug 31-Dec 31...             452
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The gear shares and seasonal allowances for BSAI Pacific cod TAC are based on the sum of the BS and AI
  Pacific cod TACs, after the subtraction of CDQ. If the TAC for Pacific cod in either the AI or BS is reached,
  then directed fishing for Pacific cod in that subarea will be prohibited, even if a BSAI allowance remains.
\2\ The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC
  allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator approves an ICA of 400 mt for 2019
  based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


               Table 9--Final 2020 Gear Shares and Seasonal Allowances of the BSAI Pacific Cod TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 2020 Share of                     2020 Seasonal apportionment
          Gear sector               Percent       gear sector    2020 Share of ---------------------------------
                                                     total       sector total        Seasons          Amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BS TAC........................             n/a         124,625             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
BS CDQ........................             n/a          13,335             n/a  see Sec.                     n/a
                                                                                 679.20(a)(7)(i)
                                                                                 (B).
BS non-CDQ TAC................             n/a         111,290             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
AI TAC........................             n/a          14,214             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
AI CDQ........................             n/a           1,521             n/a  see Sec.                     n/a
                                                                                 679.20(a)(7)(i)
                                                                                 (B).
AI non-CDQ TAC................             n/a          12,693             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Western Aleutian Island Limit.             n/a           2,232             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Total BSAI non-CDQ TAC \1\....             n/a         123,983             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Total hook-and-line/pot gear..            60.8          75,382             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Hook-and-line/pot ICA \2\.....             n/a             400             n/a  see Sec.                     n/a
                                                                                 679.20(a)(7)(ii
                                                                                 )(B).
Hook-and-line/pot sub-total...             n/a          74,982             n/a  n/a.............             n/a

[[Page 9012]]

 
Hook-and-line catcher/                    48.7             n/a          60,059  Jan 1-Jun 10....          30,630
 processor.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Dec 31...          29,429
Hook-and-line catcher vessel               0.2             n/a             247  Jan 1-Jun 10....             126
 >= 60 ft LOA.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Dec 31...             121
Pot catcher/processor.........             1.5             n/a           1,850  Jan 1-Jun 10....             943
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Sept 1-Dec 31...             906
Pot catcher vessel >= 60 ft                8.4             n/a          10,359  Jan 1-Jun 10....           5,283
 LOA.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Sept 1-Dec 31...           5,076
Catcher vessel < 60 ft LOA                 2.0             n/a           2,467  n/a.............             n/a
 using hook-and-line or pot
 gear.
Trawl catcher vessel..........            22.1          27,400             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....          20,276
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....           3,014
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....           4,110
AFA trawl catcher/processor...             2.3           2,852             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....           2,139
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....             713
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....  ..............
Amendment 80..................            13.4          16,614             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....          12,460
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....           4,153
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Dec 31...  ..............
Jig...........................             1.4           1,736             n/a  Jan 1-Apr 30....           1,041
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 30-Aug 31...             347
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Aug 31-Dec 31...             347
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The gear shares and seasonal allowances for BSAI Pacific cod TAC are based on the sum of the BS and AI
  Pacific cod TACs, after the subtraction of CDQ. If the TAC for Pacific cod in either the AI or BS is reached,
  then directed fishing for Pacific cod in that subarea will be prohibited, even if a BSAI allowance remains.
\2\ The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC
  allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator approves an ICA of 400 mt for 2020
  based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


   Table 9a--2019 BSAI A-Season Pacific Cod Allocations and Limits if
            Requirements in Sec.   679.20(A)(7)(VIII) Are Met
------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2019 Allocations and limits under Aleutian Islands CV
                    Harvest Set-Aside                       Amount (mt)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
AI non-CDQ TAC..........................................          12,693
AI ICA..................................................           2,500
AI DFA..................................................          10,193
AI CV Harvest Set-Aside \1\.............................           5,000
AI Unrestricted Fishery \2\.............................           5,193
BSAI Trawl CV A-Season Allocation.......................          26,388
BSAI Trawl CV A-Season Allocation minus Sector                    21,388
 Limitation \3\.........................................
BS Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation..................           5,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Prior to March 15, 2019, only catcher vessels that deliver their
  catch of AI Pacific cod to AI shoreplants for processing may directed
  fish for that portion of the AI Pacific cod non-CDQ DFA that is
  specified as the AI CV Harvest Set-Aside, unless lifted because the
  requirements pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E) were not met.
\2\ Prior to March 15, 2019, vessels otherwise authorized to directed
  fish for Pacific cod in the AI may directed fish for that portion of
  the AI Pacific cod non-CDQ DFA that is specified as the AI
  Unrestricted Fishery.
\3\ This is the amount of the BSAI trawl CV A-season allocation that may
  be harvested in the Bering Sea prior to March 21, 2019, unless the BS
  Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation is suspended for the remainder of
  the fishing year because the requirements pursuant to Sec.
  679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E) were not met.


   Table 9b--2020 BSAI A-Season Pacific Cod Allocations and Limits if
            Requirements in Sec.   679.20(A)(7)(VIII) Are Met
------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2020 Allocations and limits under Aleutian Islands CV
                    Harvest Set-Aside                       Amount (mt)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
AI non-CDQ TAC..........................................          12,693
AI ICA..................................................           2,500
AI DFA..................................................          10,193
AI CV Harvest Set-Aside \1\.............................           5,000
AI Unrestricted Fishery \2\.............................           5,193
BSAI Trawl CV A-Season Allocation.......................          20,493
BSAI Trawl CV A-Season Allocation minus Sector                    15,493
 Limitation \3\.........................................
BS Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation..................           5,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Prior to March 15, 2020, only catcher vessels that deliver their
  catch of AI Pacific cod to AI shoreplants for processing may directed
  fish for that portion of the AI Pacific cod non-CDQ DFA that is
  specified as the AI CV Harvest Set-Aside, unless lifted because the
  requirements pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E) were not met.

[[Page 9013]]

 
\2\ Prior to March 15, 2020, vessels otherwise authorized to directed
  fish for Pacific cod in the AI may directed fish for that portion of
  the AI Pacific cod non-CDQ DFA that is specified as the AI
  Unrestricted Fishery.
\3\ This is the amount of the BSAI trawl CV A-season allocation that may
  be harvested in the Bering Sea prior to March 21, 2020, unless the BS
  Trawl CV A-Season Sector Limitation is suspended for the remainder of
  the fishing year because the requirements pursuant to Sec.
  679.20(a)(7)(viii)(E) were not met.

Sablefish Gear Allocation

    Section 679.20(a)(4)(iii) and (iv) require allocation of the 
sablefish TAC for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands subareas between 
trawl gear and hook-and-line or pot gear sectors. Gear allocations of 
the TAC for the BS are 50 percent for trawl gear and 50 percent for 
hook-and-line or pot gear. Gear allocations of the TAC for the AI are 
25 percent for trawl gear and 75 percent for hook-and-line or pot gear. 
Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires that NMFS apportions 20 percent of 
the hook-and-line or pot gear allocation of sablefish to the CDQ 
reserve for each subarea. Also, Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D)(1) requires 
that 7.5 percent of the trawl gear allocation of sablefish from the 
non-specified reserves, established under Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(i), be 
assigned to the CDQ reserve.
    The Council recommended that only trawl sablefish TAC be 
established biennially. The harvest specifications for the hook-and-
line gear or pot gear sablefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) 
fisheries are limited to the 2019 fishing year to ensure those 
fisheries are conducted concurrently with the halibut IFQ fishery. 
Concurrent sablefish and halibut IFQ fisheries reduce the potential for 
discards of halibut and sablefish in those fisheries. The sablefish IFQ 
fisheries remain closed at the beginning of each fishing year until the 
final harvest specifications for the sablefish IFQ fisheries are in 
effect. Table 10 lists the 2019 and 2020 gear allocations of the 
sablefish TAC and CDQ reserve amounts.

                                    Table 10--Final 2019 and 2020 Gear Shares and CDQ Reserve of BSAI Sablefish TACs
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Percent of     2019 Share of                     2019 CDQ      2020 Share of                     2020 CDQ
            Subarea and gear                    TAC             TAC          2019 ITAC        reserve           TAC          2020 ITAC        reserve
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea
    Trawl \1\...........................              50             745             633              56             997             847              75
    Hook-and-line/pot gear \2\..........              50             745             596             149             n/a             n/a             n/a
    Total...............................             100           1,489           1,228             205             997             847              75
Aleutian Islands
    Trawl \1\...........................              25             502             427              38             672             571              50
    Hook-and-line/pot gear \2\..........              75           1,506           1,205             301             n/a             n/a             n/a
    Total...............................             100           2,008           1,632             339             672             571              50
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Except for the sablefish hook-and-line and pot gear allocation, 15 percent of TAC is apportioned to the non-specific reserve (Sec.
  679.20(b)(1)(i)). The ITAC is the remainder of the TAC after subtracting these reserves.
\2\ For the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to vessels using hook-and-line or pot gear, 20 percent of the allocated TAC is reserved for use by
  CDQ participants (Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B)). The Council recommended that specifications for the hook-and-line gear sablefish IFQ fisheries be
  limited to one year.
Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

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

    Section 679.20(a)(10)(i) and (ii) require that NMFS allocate 
Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI flathead sole, rock 
sole, and yellowfin sole ITACs between the Amendment 80 sector and the 
BSAI trawl limited access sector, after subtracting 10.7 percent for 
the CDQ reserves and ICAs for the BSAI trawl limited access sector and 
vessels using non-trawl gear. The allocation of the ITACs for Aleutian 
Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and 
yellowfin sole to the Amendment 80 sector are established in accordance 
with Tables 33 and 34 to 50 CFR part 679 and Sec.  679.91.
    One Amendment 80 cooperative has formed for the 2019 fishing year. 
Because all Amendment 80 vessels are part of the sole Amendment 80 
cooperative, no allocation to the Amendment 80 limited access sector is 
required for 2019. The 2020 allocations for Amendment 80 species 
between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access 
sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for 
participation in the program by November 1, 2019. Tables 11 and 12 list 
the 2019 and 2020 allocations of the Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean 
perch, and BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole TACs.

 Table 11--Final 2019 Community Development Quota (CDQ) Reserves, Incidental Catch Amounts (ICAs), and Amendment 80 Allocations of the Aleutian Islands
                                     Pacific Ocean Perch, and BSAI Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole TACs
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        Pacific ocean perch                Flathead sole     Rock sole    Yellowfin sole
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         Sector                               Eastern         Central         Western
                                                             Aleutian        Aleutian        Aleutian          BSAI            BSAI            BSAI
                                                             District        District        District
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC.....................................................          11,009           8,385          10,000          14,500          47,100         154,000

[[Page 9014]]

 
CDQ.....................................................           1,178             897           1,070           1,552           5,040          16,478
ICA.....................................................             100              60              10           3,000           6,000           4,000
BSAI trawl limited access...............................             973             743             178  ..............  ..............          18,351
Amendment 80............................................           8,758           6,685           8,742           9,949          36,060         115,171
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


 Table 12--Final 2020 Community Development Quota (CDQ) Reserves, Incidental Catch Amounts (ICAS), and Amendment 80 Allocations of the Aleutian Islands
                                     Pacific Ocean Perch, and BSAI Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole Tacs
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        Pacific ocean perch                Flathead sole     Rock sole    Yellowfin sole
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         Sector                               Eastern         Central         Western
                                                             Aleutian        Aleutian        Aleutian          BSAI            BSAI            BSAI
                                                             District        District        District
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC.....................................................          11,146           8,205          10,000          14,500          57,100         166,425
CDQ.....................................................           1,193             878           1,070           1,552           6,110          17,807
ICA.....................................................             100              60              10           3,000           6,000           4,000
BSAI trawl limited access...............................             985             727             178  ..............  ..............          22,789
Amendment 80\1\.........................................           8,868           6,540           8,742           9,949          44,990         121,828
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2020 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until
  eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2019.
Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

    Section 679.2 defines the ABC surplus for flathead sole, rock sole, 
and yellowfin sole as the difference between the annual ABC and TAC for 
each species. Section 679.20(b)(1)(iii) establishes ABC reserves for 
flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole. The ABC surpluses and the 
ABC reserves are necessary to mitigate the operational variability, 
environmental conditions, and economic factors that may constrain the 
CDQ groups and the Amendment 80 cooperatives from achieving, on a 
continuing basis, the optimum yield in the BSAI groundfish fisheries. 
NMFS, after consultation with the Council, may set the ABC reserve at 
or below the ABC surplus for each species, thus maintaining the TAC 
below ABC limits. An amount equal to 10.7 percent of the ABC reserves 
will be allocated as CDQ ABC reserves for flathead sole, rock sole, and 
yellowfin sole. Section 679.31(b)(4) establishes the annual allocations 
of CDQ ABC reserves among the CDQ groups. The Amendment 80 ABC reserves 
shall be the ABC reserves minus the CDQ ABC reserves. Section 
679.91(i)(2) establishes each Amendment 80 cooperative ABC reserve to 
be the ratio of each cooperatives' quota share units and the total 
Amendment 80 quota share units, multiplied by the Amendment 80 ABC 
reserve for each respective species. Table 13 lists the 2019 and 2020 
ABC surplus and ABC reserves for BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and 
yellowfin sole.

 Table 13--Final 2019 and 2020 ABC Surplus, ABC Reserves, Community Development Quota (CDQ) ABC Reserves, and Amendment 80 ABC Reserves in the BSAI for
                                                      Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          2019  Flathead    2019  Rock    2019 Yellowfin     2020 \1\      2020 \1\ Rock     2020 \1\
                         Sector                                sole            sole            sole        Flathead sole       sole       Yellowfin sole
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ABC.....................................................          66,625         118,900         263,200          68,448         143,700         257,800
TAC.....................................................          14,500          47,100         154,000          14,500          57,100         166,425
ABC surplus.............................................          52,125          71,800         109,200          53,948          86,600          91,375
ABC reserve.............................................          52,125          71,800         109,200          53,948          86,600          91,375
CDQ ABC reserve.........................................           5,577           7,683          11,684           5,772           9,266           9,777
Amendment 80 ABC reserve................................          46,548          64,117          97,516          48,176          77,334          81,598
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2020 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until
  eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2019.


[[Page 9015]]

PSC Limits for Halibut, Salmon, Crab, and Herring

    Section 679.21(b), (e), (f), and (g) sets forth the BSAI PSC 
limits. Pursuant to Sec.  679.21(b)(1), the annual BSAI halibut PSC 
limits total 3,515 mt. Section 679.21(b)(1) allocates 315 mt of the 
halibut PSC limit as the PSQ reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ 
program, 1,745 mt of the halibut PSC limit for the Amendment 80 sector, 
745 mt of the halibut PSC limit for the BSAI trawl limited access 
sector, and 710 mt of the halibut PSC limit for the BSAI non-trawl 
sector.
    Section 679.21(b)(1)(iii)(A) and (B) authorizes apportionment of 
the BSAI non-trawl halibut PSC limit into PSC allowances among six 
fishery categories in Table 17, and Sec.  679.21(b)(1)(ii)(A) and (B), 
(e)(3)(i)(B), and (e)(3)(iv) requires apportionment of the trawl PSC 
limits in Tables 15 and 16 into PSC allowances among seven fishery 
categories.
    Pursuant to Section 3.6 of the FMP, the Council recommends, and 
NMFS agrees, that certain specified non-trawl fisheries be exempt from 
the halibut PSC limit. As in past years, after consultation with the 
Council, NMFS exempts pot gear, jig gear, and the sablefish IFQ hook-
and-line gear fishery categories from halibut bycatch restrictions for 
the following reasons: (1) The pot gear fisheries have low halibut 
bycatch mortality; (2) NMFS estimates halibut mortality for the jig 
gear fleet to be negligible because of the small size of the fishery 
and the selectivity of the gear; and (3) the sablefish and halibut IFQ 
fisheries have low halibut bycatch mortality because the IFQ program 
requires that legal-size halibut be retained by vessels using hook-and-
line gear if a halibut IFQ permit holder or a hired master is aboard 
and is holding unused halibut IFQ for that vessel category and the IFQ 
regulatory area in which the vessel is operating (Sec.  679.7(f)(11)).
    The 2018 total groundfish catch for the pot gear fishery in the 
BSAI was 28,662 mt, with an associated halibut bycatch mortality of 20 
mt. The 2018 jig gear fishery harvested about 56 mt of groundfish. Most 
vessels in the jig gear fleet are exempt from observer coverage 
requirements. As a result, observer data are not available on halibut 
bycatch in the jig gear fishery. As mentioned above, NMFS estimates a 
negligible amount of halibut bycatch mortality because of the selective 
nature of jig gear and the low mortality rate of halibut caught with 
jig gear and released.
    Under Sec.  679.21(f)(2), NMFS annually allocates portions of 
either 33,318, 45,000, 47,591, or 60,000 Chinook salmon PSC limits 
among the AFA sectors, depending on past bycatch performance, on 
whether Chinook salmon bycatch incentive plan agreements (IPAs) are 
formed, and on whether NMFS determines it is a low Chinook salmon 
abundance year. NMFS will determine that it is a low Chinook salmon 
abundance year when abundance of Chinook salmon in western Alaska is 
less than or equal to 250,000 Chinook salmon. The State of Alaska 
provides to NMFS an estimate of Chinook salmon abundance using the 3-
System Index for western Alaska based on the Kuskokwim, Unalakleet, and 
Upper Yukon aggregate stock grouping.
    If an AFA sector participates in an approved IPA and has not 
exceeded its performance standard under Sec.  679.21(f)(6), and if it 
is not a low Chinook salmon abundance year, NMFS will allocate a 
portion of the 60,000 Chinook salmon PSC limit to that sector as 
specified in Sec.  679.21(f)(3)(iii)(A). If no IPA is approved, or if 
the sector has exceeded its performance standard under Sec.  
679.21(f)(6), and if it is not a low abundance year, NMFS will allocate 
a portion of the 47,591 Chinook salmon PSC limit to that sector as 
specified in Sec.  679.21(f)(3)(iii)(C). If an AFA sector participates 
in an approved IPA and has not exceeded its performance standard under 
Sec.  679.21(f)(6), in a low abundance year, NMFS will allocate a 
portion of the 45,000 Chinook salmon PSC limit to that sector as 
specified in Sec.  679.21(f)(3)(iii)(B). If no IPA is approved, or if 
the sector has exceeded its performance standard under Sec.  
679.21(f)(6), in a low abundance year, NMFS will allocate a portion of 
the 33,318 Chinook salmon PSC limit to that sector as specified in 
Sec.  679.21(f)(3)(iii)(D).
    NMFS has determined that 2018 was a low Chinook salmon abundance 
year, based on the State's estimate that Chinook salmon abundance in 
western Alaska is less than 250,000 Chinook salmon. Therefore, in 2019, 
the Chinook salmon PSC limit is 45,000 Chinook salmon, allocated to 
each sector as specified in Sec.  679.21(f)(3)(iii)(B). The AFA sector 
Chinook salmon allocations are also seasonally apportioned with 70 
percent of the allocation for the A season pollock fishery, and 30 
percent of the allocation for the B season pollock fishery (Sec. Sec.  
679.21(f)(3)(i) and 679.23(e)(2)). In 2019, the Chinook salmon bycatch 
performance standard under Sec.  679.21(f)(6) is 33,318 Chinook salmon, 
allocated to each sector as specified in Sec.  679.21(f)(3)(iii)(D).
    NMFS publishes the approved IPAs, allocations, and reports at 
https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/bycatch/default.htm.
    Section 679.21(g)(2)(i) specifies 700 fish as the 2019 and 2020 
Chinook salmon PSC limit for the AI pollock fishery. Section 
679.21(g)(2)(ii) allocates 7.5 percent, or 53 Chinook salmon, as the AI 
PSQ reserve for the CDQ Program, and allocates the remaining 647 
Chinook salmon to the non-CDQ fisheries.
    Section 679.21(f)(14)(i) specifies 42,000 fish as the 2019 and 2020 
non-Chinook salmon PSC limit for vessels using trawl gear from August 
15 through October 14 in the Catcher Vessel Operational Area (CVOA). 
Section 679.21(f)(14)(ii) allocates 10.7 percent, or 4,494 non-Chinook 
salmon, in the CVOA as the PSQ reserve for the CDQ Program, and 
allocates the remaining 37,506 non-Chinook salmon in the CVOA to the 
non-CDQ fisheries.
    PSC limits for crab and herring are specified annually based on 
abundance and spawning biomass. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(1) allocates 
10.7 percent from each trawl gear PSC limit specified for crab as a PSQ 
reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program.
    Based on 2018 survey data, the red king crab mature female 
abundance is estimated at 13.1 million red king crabs, and the 
effective spawning biomass is estimated at 33,275 million lbs (15,093 
mt). Based on the criteria set out at Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(i), the 2019 
and 2020 PSC limit of red king crab in Zone 1 for trawl gear is 97,000 
animals. This limit derives from the mature female abundance estimate 
of more than 8.4 million mature red king crab and the effective 
spawning biomass estimate of more than 14.5 million lbs (6,577 mt) but 
less than 55 million lbs (24,948 mt).
    Section 679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)(2) establishes criteria under which 
NMFS must specify an annual red king crab bycatch limit for the Red 
King Crab Savings Subarea (RKCSS). The regulations limit the RKCSS red 
king crab bycatch limit to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC limit, 
based on the need to optimize the groundfish harvest relative to red 
king crab bycatch. In December 2018, the Council recommended and NMFS 
concurs that the red king crab bycatch limit be equal to 25 percent of 
the red king crab PSC limit within the RKCSS (Table 15).
    Based on 2018 survey data, Tanner crab (Chionoecetes bairdi) 
abundance is estimated at 1,238 million animals. Pursuant to criteria 
set out at Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(ii), the calculated 2019 and 2020 C. 
bairdi crab PSC limit for trawl gear is 980,000 animals in Zone 1, and 
2,970,000 animals in Zone 2. The limit in Zone 1 is based on the

[[Page 9016]]

abundance of C. bairdi estimated at 1,238 million animals, which is 
greater than 400 million animals. The limit in Zone 2 is based on the 
abundance of C. bairdi estimated at 1,238 million animals, which is 
greater than 400 million animals.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(iii), the PSC limit for trawl gear 
for snow crab (C. opilio) is based on total abundance as indicated by 
the NMFS annual bottom trawl survey. The C. opilio crab PSC limit in 
the C. opilio bycatch limitation zone (COBLZ) is set at 0.1133 percent 
of the Bering Sea abundance index minus 150,000 crabs. Based on the 
2018 survey estimate of 10.65 billion animals, the calculated C. opilio 
crab PSC limit is 11,916,450 animals, which is above the minimum PSC 
limit of 4.5 million and below the maximum PSC limit of 13 million 
animals.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(v), the PSC limit of Pacific herring 
caught while conducting any trawl operation for BSAI groundfish is 1 
percent of the annual eastern Bering Sea herring biomass. The best 
estimate of 2019 and 2020 herring biomass is 254,709 mt. This amount 
was developed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game based on 
biomass for spawning aggregations. Therefore, the herring PSC limit for 
2019 and 2020 is 2,547 mt for all trawl gear as listed in Tables 14 and 
15.
    Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A) requires that PSQ reserves be subtracted 
from the total trawl gear crab PSC limits. The crab and halibut PSC 
limits apportioned to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access 
sectors are listed in Table 35 to 50 CFR part 679. The resulting 2019 
and 2020 allocations of PSC limit to CDQ PSQ reserves, the Amendment 80 
sector, and the BSAI trawl limited access sector are listed in Table 
14. Pursuant to Sec. Sec.  679.21(b)(1)(i), 679.21(e)(3)(vi), and 
679.91(d) through (f), crab and halibut trawl PSC limits assigned to 
the Amendment 80 sector are then further allocated to Amendment 80 
cooperatives as cooperative quota. Crab and halibut PSC cooperative 
quota assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives is not allocated to 
specific fishery categories. In 2019, there are no vessels in the 
Amendment 80 limited access sector and one Amendment 80 cooperative. 
The 2020 PSC allocations between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the 
Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible 
participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 
2019. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(B) requires that NMFS apportion each 
trawl PSC limit for crab and herring not assigned to Amendment 80 
cooperatives into PSC bycatch allowances for seven specified fishery 
categories in Sec.  679.21(e)(3)(iv).
    Section 679.21(b)(2) and (e)(5) authorizes NMFS, after consulting 
with the Council, to establish seasonal apportionments of halibut and 
crab PSC amounts for the BSAI trawl limited access and non-trawl 
sectors in order to maximize the ability of the fleet to harvest the 
available groundfish TAC and to minimize bycatch. The factors to be 
considered are (1) seasonal distribution of prohibited species, (2) 
seasonal distribution of target groundfish species relative to 
prohibited species distribution, (3) PSC bycatch needs on a seasonal 
basis relevant to prohibited species biomass and expected catches of 
target groundfish species, (4) expected variations in bycatch rates 
throughout the year, (5) expected changes in directed groundfish 
fishing seasons, (6) expected start of fishing effort, and (7) economic 
effects of establishing seasonal prohibited species apportionments on 
segments of the target groundfish industry. Based on this criteria, the 
Council recommended and NMFS approves the seasonal PSC apportionments 
in Tables 16 and 17 to maximize harvest among gear types, fisheries, 
and seasons while minimizing bycatch of PSC.

  Table 14--Final 2019 and 2020 Apportionment of Prohibited Species Catch Allowances to Non-Trawl Gear, the CDQ
                        Program, Amendment 80, and the BSAI Trawl Limited Access Sectors
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            Trawl PSC                 BSAI trawl
                                                  Non-trawl     CDQ PSQ     remaining    Amendment     limited
     PSC species and area \1\        Total PSC       PSC      reserve \2\   after CDQ    80 sector      access
                                                                               PSQ          \3\        fishery
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI.......        3,515          710          315          n/a        1,745          745
Herring (mt) BSAI.................        2,547          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
Red king crab (animals) Zone 1....       97,000          n/a       10,379       86,621       43,293       26,489
C. opilio (animals) COBLZ.........   11,916,450          n/a    1,275,060   10,641,390    5,230,243    3,420,143
C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 1...      980,000          n/a      104,860      875,140      368,521      411,228
C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 2...    2,970,000          n/a      317,790    2,652,210      627,778    1,241,500
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Refer to Sec.   679.2 for definitions of zones.
\2\ The PSQ reserve for crab species is 10.7 percent of each crab PSC limit.
\3\ The Amendment 80 program reduced apportionment of the trawl PSC limits for crab below the total PSC limit.
  These reductions are not apportioned to other gear types or sectors.


 Table 15-Final 2019 and 2020 Herring and Red King Crab Savings Subarea
        Prohibited Species Catch Allowances for All Trawl Sectors
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Red king crab
           Fishery categories              Herring (mt)      (animals)
                                               BSAI           Zone 1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yellowfin sole..........................             111             n/a
Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish                54             n/a
 \1\....................................
Greenland turbot/arrowtooth flounder/                  7             n/a
 Kamchatka flounder/sablefish...........
Rockfish................................               7             n/a
Pacific cod.............................              13             n/a
Midwater trawl pollock..................           2,313             n/a
Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species \2\               42             n/a
 \3\....................................
Red king crab savings subarea non-                   n/a          24,250
 pelagic trawl gear \4\.................
                                         -------------------------------

[[Page 9017]]

 
    Total trawl PSC.....................           2,547          97,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ ``Other flatfish'' for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species,
  except for halibut (a prohibited species), Alaska plaice, arrowtooth
  flounder, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, rock
  sole, and yellowfin sole.
\2\ Pollock other than midwater trawl pollock, Atka mackerel, and
  ``other species'' fishery category.
\3\ ``Other species'' for PSC monitoring includes skates, sculpins,
  sharks, and octopuses.
\4\ In December 2018, the Council recommended that the red king crab
  bycatch limit for non-pelagic trawl fisheries within the RKCSS be
  limited to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC allowance (see Sec.
  679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)(2)).
Note: Species apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


  Table 16--FINAL 2019 and 2020 Prohibited Species Bycatch Allowances for the BSAI Trawl Limited Access Sector
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Prohibited species and area \1\
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    BSAI trawl limited access         Halibut      Red king crab     C. opilio          C. bairdi (animals)
            fisheries             mortality (mt)  (animals) Zone     (animals)   -------------------------------
                                        BSAI             1             COBLZ          Zone 1          Zone 2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yellowfin sole..................             150          23,338       3,224,126         346,228       1,185,500
Rock sole/flathead sole/other     ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............
 flatfish \2\...................
Greenland turbot/arrowtooth       ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............
 flounder/Kamchatka flounder/
 sablefish......................
Rockfish April 15-December 31...               4  ..............           5,326  ..............           1,000
Pacific cod.....................             391           2,954         137,426          60,000          49,999
Pollock/Atka mackerel/other                  200             197          53,265           5,000           5,000
 species \3\....................
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total BSAI trawl limited                 745          26,489       3,420,143         411,228       1,241,500
     access PSC.................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Refer to Sec.   679.2 for definitions of areas.
\2\ ``Other flatfish'' for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited
  species), Alaska plaice, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, rock sole,
  and yellowfin sole.
\3\ ``Other species'' for PSC monitoring includes skates, sculpins, sharks, and octopuses.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


       Table 17-Final 2019 and 2020 Halibut Prohibited Species Bycatch Allowances for Non-Trawl Fisheries
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Catcher/
          Non-trawl fisheries                    Seasons             processor    Catcher vessel   All non-trawl
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod...........................  Total Pacific cod.......             648              13             661
                                        January 1-June 10.......             388               9             n/a
                                        June 10-August 15.......             162               2             n/a
                                        August 15-December 31...              98               2             n/a
Non-Pacific cod non-trawl-Total.......  May 1-December 31.......             n/a             n/a              49
Groundfish pot and jig................  n/a.....................             n/a             n/a          Exempt
Sablefish hook-and-line...............  n/a.....................             n/a             n/a          Exempt
                                       -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total for all non-trawl PSC.......  n/a.....................             n/a             n/a             710
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

Estimates of Halibut Biomass and Stock Condition

    The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) annually 
assesses the abundance and potential yield of the Pacific halibut stock 
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 2018 Pacific 
halibut stock assessment (December 2018), available on the IPHC website 
at www.iphc.int. The IPHC considered the 2018 Pacific halibut stock 
assessment at its January 2019 annual meeting when it set the 2019 
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, halibut discard mortality rates (DMRs), and estimates of 
groundfish catch to project when a fishery's halibut bycatch mortality 
allowance or seasonal apportionment is reached. Halibut incidental 
catch rates are based on observers' estimates of halibut incidental 
catch in the groundfish fishery. DMRs are estimates of the proportion 
of incidentally caught halibut that do not survive after being returned 
to the sea. The cumulative halibut mortality that accrues to a 
particular halibut PSC limit is the product of a DMR multiplied by the 
estimated halibut PSC. DMRs are estimated using the best scientific 
information available in conjunction

[[Page 9018]]

with the annual BSAI stock assessment process. The DMR methodology and 
findings are included as an appendix to the annual BSAI groundfish SAFE 
report.
    In 2016, the DMR estimation methodology underwent revisions per the 
Council's directive. An interagency halibut working group (IPHC, 
Council, and NMFS staff) developed improved estimation methods that 
have undergone review by the Plan Team, SSC, and the Council. A summary 
of the revised methodology is included in the BSAI proposed 2017 and 
2018 harvest specifications (81 FR 87863, December 6, 2016), and the 
comprehensive discussion of the working group's statistical methodology 
is available from the Council (see ADDRESSES). The DMR working group's 
revised methodology is intended to improve estimation accuracy, 
transparency, and transferability in the methodology used for 
calculating DMRs. The working group will continue to consider 
improvements to the methodology used to calculate halibut mortality, 
including potential changes to the reference period (the period of data 
used for calculating the DMRs). Future DMRs, including the 2020 DMRs, 
may change based on additional years of observer sampling, which could 
provide more recent and accurate data and which could improve the 
accuracy of estimation and progress on methodology. The new methodology 
will continue to ensure that NMFS is using DMRs that more accurately 
reflect halibut mortality, which will inform the different sectors of 
their estimated halibut mortality and allow specific sectors to respond 
with methods that could reduce mortality and, eventually, the DMR for 
that sector.
    At the December 2018 meeting, the SSC, AP, and Council reviewed and 
concurred in the revised DMRs. The 2019 and 2020 DMRs use an updated 2-
year reference period. Comparing the 2019 and 2020 final DMRs to the 
final DMRs from the 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications, the DMR for 
motherships and catcher/processors using non-pelagic trawl gear 
decreased to 78 percent from 84 percent, the DMR for catcher vessels 
using non-pelagic trawl gear decreased to 59 percent from 60 percent, 
the DMR for catcher vessels using hook-and-line gear decreased to 4 
percent from 17 percent, and the DMR for pot gear increased to 19 
percent from 9 percent. Table 18 lists the final 2019 and 2020 DMRs.

Table 18-2019 and 2020 Pacific Halibut Discard Mortality Rates (DMR) for
                                the BSAI
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Halibut
                                                              discard
              Gear                        Sector          mortality rate
                                                             (percent)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pelagic trawl..................  All....................             100
Non-pelagic trawl..............  Mothership and catcher/              78
                                  processor.
Non-pelagic trawl..............  Catcher vessel.........              59
Hook-and-line..................  Catcher/processor......               8
Hook-and-line..................  Catcher vessel.........               4
Pot............................  All....................              19
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Directed Fishing Closures

    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional 
Administrator may establish a DFA for a species or species group if the 
Regional Administrator determines that any allocation or apportionment 
of a target species has been or will be reached. If the Regional 
Administrator establishes a DFA, and that allowance is or will be 
reached before the end of the fishing year, NMFS will prohibit directed 
fishing for that species or species group in the specified subarea, 
regulatory area, or district (see Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii)). Similarly, 
pursuant to Sec.  679.21(b)(4) and (e)(7), if the Regional 
Administrator determines that a fishery category's bycatch allowance of 
halibut, red king crab, C. bairdi crab, or C. opilio crab for a 
specified area has been reached, the Regional Administrator will 
prohibit directed fishing for each species or species group in that 
fishery category in the area specified by regulation for the remainder 
of the fishing year.
    Based on historic catch patterns and anticipated fishing activity, 
the Regional Administrator has determined that the groundfish 
allocation amounts in Table 19 will be necessary as incidental catch to 
support other anticipated groundfish fisheries for the 2019 and 2020 
fishing years. Consequently, in accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), 
the Regional Administrator establishes the DFA for the species and 
species groups in Table 19 as zero mt. Therefore, in accordance with 
Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for these 
sectors and species or species groups in the specified areas effective 
at 1200 hours, A.l.t., March 13, 2019, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., 
December 31, 2020. Also, for the BSAI trawl limited access sector, 
bycatch allowances of halibut, red king crab, C. bairdi crab, and C. 
opilio crab listed in Table 19 are insufficient to support directed 
fisheries. Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  679.21(b)(4)(i) and 
(e)(7), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for these sectors, 
species, and fishery categories in the specified areas effective at 
1200 hours, A.l.t., March 13, 2019, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., 
December 31, 2020.

                              Table 19--2019 and 2020 Directed Fishing Closures \1\
           [Groundfish and halibut amounts are in metric tons. Crab amounts are in number of animals]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                       2019            2020
                                                                                    Incidental      Incidental
               Area                         Sector                Species              catch           catch
                                                                                     allowance       allowance
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bogoslof District.................  All..................  Pollock..............              75              75
Aleutian Islands subarea..........  All..................  ICA pollock..........           2,400           2,400
                                                           ``Other rockfish''                388             388
                                                            \2\.
Aleutian Islands subarea..........  Trawl non-CDQ........  Sablefish............             427             571
Eastern Aleutian District/Bering    Non-amendment 80,      ICA Atka mackerel....             800             800
 Sea.                                CDQ, and BSAI trawl
                                     limited access.

[[Page 9019]]

 
Eastern Aleutian District/Bering    All..................  Blackspotted/Rougheye              75              75
 Sea.                                                       rockfish.
Eastern Aleutian District.........  Non-amendment 80,      ICA Pacific ocean                 100             100
                                     CDQ, and BSAI trawl    perch.
                                     limited access.
Central Aleutian District.........  Non-amendment 80,      ICA Atka mackerel....              75              75
                                     CDQ, and BSAI trawl
                                     limited access.
                                                           ICA Pacific ocean                  60              60
                                                            perch.
Western Aleutian District.........  Non-amendment 80, CDQ  ICA Atka mackerel....              20              20
                                     and BSAI trawl
                                     limited access.
                                                           ICA Pacific ocean                  10              10
                                                            perch.
Western and Central Aleutian        All..................  Blackspotted/Rougheye             204             204
 Districts.                                                 rockfish.
Bering Sea subarea................  Trawl non-CDQ........  Sablefish............             633             847
Bering Sea subarea................  All..................  Pacific ocean perch..          14,675          14,274
                                                           ``Other rockfish''                234             234
                                                            \2\.
                                                           ICA pollock..........          46,520          47,286
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands...  All..................  Northern rockfish....           5,525           5,525
                                                           Shortraker rockfish..             304             150
                                                           Skates...............          22,100          22,950
                                                           Sculpins.............           4,250           4,250
                                                           Sharks...............             106             180
                                                           Octopuses............             340             200
                                    Hook-and-line and pot  ICA Pacific cod......             400             400
                                     gear.
                                    Non-amendment 80 and   ICA flathead sole....           3,000           3,000
                                     CDQ.
                                                           ICA rock sole........           5,000           5,000
                                    Non-amendment 80,      ICA yellowfin sole...           4,000           4,000
                                     CDQ, and BSAI trawl
                                     limited access.
                                    BSAI trawl limited     Rock sole/flathead
                                     access.                sole/other flatfish--
                                                            halibut mortality,
                                                            red king crab Zone
                                                            1, C. opilio COBLZ,
                                                            C. bairdi Zone 1 and
                                                            2.
                                                           Turbot/arrowtooth/
                                                            sablefish--halibut
                                                            mortality, red king
                                                            crab Zone 1, C.
                                                            opilio COBLZ, C.
                                                            bairdi Zone 1 and 2.
                                                           Rockfish--red king
                                                            crab Zone 1.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Maximum retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679.
\2\ ``Other rockfish'' includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern
  rockfish, shortraker rockfish, and blackspotted/rougheye rockfish.

    Closures implemented under the final 2018 and 2019 BSAI harvest 
specifications for groundfish (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018) remain 
effective under authority of these final 2019 and 2020 harvest 
specifications and until the date specified in those notices. Closures 
are posted at the following websites: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/cm/info_bulletins/ and https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries_reports/reports/. 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 at 50 CFR part 679.

Listed AFA Catcher/Processor Sideboard Limits

    Pursuant to Sec.  679.64(a), the Regional Administrator is 
responsible for restricting the ability of listed AFA C/Ps to engage in 
directed fishing for groundfish species other than pollock to protect 
participants in other groundfish fisheries from adverse effects 
resulting from the AFA and from fishery cooperatives in the pollock 
directed fishery. These restrictions are set out as sideboard limits on 
catch. The basis for these sideboard limits is described in detail in 
the final rules implementing the major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 
79692, December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, September 14, 
2007). Table 20 lists the 2019 and 2020 AFA C/P groundfish sideboard 
limits. Section 679.64(a)(1)(v) exempts AFA catcher/processors from a 
yellowfin sole sideboard limit because the 2019 and 2020 aggregate ITAC 
of yellowfin sole assigned to the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl 
limited access sector is greater than 125,000 mt.
    All harvest of groundfish sideboard species by listed AFA C/Ps, 
whether as targeted catch or incidental catch, will be deducted from 
the sideboard limits in Table 20. However, groundfish sideboard species 
that are delivered to listed AFA C/Ps by CVs will not be deducted from 
the 2019 and 2020 sideboard limits for the listed AFA C/Ps.

[[Page 9020]]



                                         Table 20--Final 2019 and 2020 Listed BSAI American Fisheries Act Catcher/Processor Groundfish Sideboard Limits
                                                                                  [Amounts are in metric tons]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     1995-1997
                                                                                 ------------------------------------------------    2019 ITAC     2019 AFA C/P      2020 ITAC     2020 AFA C/P
                Target species                            Area/  season                                              Ratio of      available to      sideboard     available to      sideboard
                                                                                  Retained catch    Total catch   retained catch  trawl C/Ps \1\       limit      trawl C/Ps \1\       limit
                                                                                                                  to total catch
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish trawl...............................  BS..............................               8             497          0.0160             633              10             847              14
                                                AI..............................  ..............             145  ..............             427  ..............             571
Atka mackerel.................................  Central AI A season \2\.........             n/a             n/a          0.1150           6,425             739          11,116           1,278
                                                Central AI B season \2\.........             n/a             n/a          0.1150           6,425             739          11,116           1,278
                                                Western AI A season \2\.........             n/a             n/a          0.2000           8,748           1,750           6,173           1,235
                                                Western AI B season \2\.........             n/a             n/a          0.2000           8,748           1,750           6,173           1,235
Rock sole.....................................  BSAI............................           6,317         169,362          0.0370          42,060           1,556          43,846           1,622
Greenland turbot..............................  BS..............................             121          17,305          0.0070           4,356              30           4,356              30
                                                AI..............................              23           4,987          0.0050             144               1             144               1
Arrowtooth flounder...........................  BSAI............................              76          33,987          0.0020           6,800              14           6,800              14
Kamchatka flounder............................  BSAI............................              76          33,987          0.0020           4,250               9           4,250               9
Flathead sole.................................  BSAI............................           1,925          52,755          0.0360          12,949             466          12,949             466
Alaska plaice.................................  BSAI............................              14           9,438          0.0010          15,300              15          15,300              15
Other flatfish................................  BSAI............................           3,058          52,298          0.0580           5,525             320           5,525             320
Pacific ocean perch...........................  BS..............................              12           4,879          0.0020          12,474              25          12,133              24
                                                Eastern AI......................             125           6,179          0.0200           9,831             197           9,953             199
                                                Central AI......................               3           5,698          0.0010           7,488               7           7,327               7
                                                Western AI......................              54          13,598          0.0040           8,930              36           8,930              36
Northern rockfish.............................  BSAI............................              91          13,040          0.0070           5,525              39           5,525              39
Shortraker rockfish...........................  BSAI............................              50           2,811          0.0180             304               5             304               5
Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish................  BS/EAI..........................              50           2,811          0.0180              64               1              64               1
                                                CAI/WAI.........................              50           2,811          0.0180             173               3             173               3
Other rockfish................................  BS..............................              18             621          0.0290             234               7             234               7
                                                AI..............................              22             806          0.0270             388              10             388              10
Skates........................................  BSAI............................             553          68,672          0.0080          22,100             177          22,100             177
Sculpins......................................  BSAI............................             553          68,672          0.0080           4,250              34           4,250              34
Sharks........................................  BSAI............................             553          68,672          0.0080             106               1             106               1
Octopuses.....................................  BSAI............................             553          68,672          0.0080             340               3             340               3
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI Atka mackerel, flathead sole, and rock sole are multiplied by the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under Sec.
  679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C).
\2\ The seasonal apportionment of Atka mackerel for the BSAI trawl limited access sector is 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. Listed AFA catcher/processors are limited
  to harvesting no more than zero in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea, 20 percent of the annual ITAC specified for the Western Aleutian District, and 11.5 percent of the
  annual ITAC specified for the Central Aleutian District.
Notes: Section 679.64(a)(1)(v) exempts AFA catcher/processors from a yellowfin sole sideboard limit because the 2019 and 2020 aggregate ITAC of yellowfin sole assigned to the Amendment 80
  sector and BSAI trawl limited access sector is greater than 125,000 mt.

[[Page 9021]]

 
On February 8, 2019, NMFS published a final rule (84 FR 2723) that modifies regulations for AFA Program participants subject to sideboard limits in the BSAI. The final rule establishes
  regulations to prohibit directed fishing for sideboard limits for specific groundfish species or species groups, rather than prohibiting directed fishing for AFA Program sideboard limits
  through the BSAI annual harvest specifications. Once the final rule is effective (effective March 11, 2019), NMFS will no longer publish in the annual BSAI harvest specifications the AFA
  Program sideboard limit amounts for groundfish species subject to the final rule, and the groundfish species subject to the final rule will be prohibited to directed fishing in regulation
  (84 FR 2723).

    Section 679.64(a)(2) and Tables 40 and 41 of 50 CFR part 679 
establish a formula for calculating PSC sideboard limits for halibut 
and crab caught by listed AFA C/Ps. The basis for these sideboard 
limits is described in detail in the final rules implementing the major 
provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 
(72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007).
    PSC species listed in Table 21 that are caught by listed AFA C/Ps 
participating in any groundfish fishery other than pollock will accrue 
against the 2019 and 2020 PSC sideboard limits for the listed AFA C/Ps. 
Section 679.21(b)(4)(iii), (e)(3)(v), and (e)(7) authorizes NMFS to 
close directed fishing for groundfish other than pollock for listed AFA 
C/Ps once a 2019 or 2020 PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 21 is 
reached.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.21(b)(1)(ii)(C) and (e)(3)(ii)(C), halibut or 
crab PSC by listed AFA C/Ps while fishing for pollock will accrue 
against the PSC allowances annually specified for the pollock/Atka 
mackerel/``other species'' fishery categories under Sec.  
679.21(b)(1)(ii)(B) and (e)(3)(iv).

       Table 21--Final 2019 and 2020 BSAI AFA Listed Catcher/Processor Prohibited Species Sideboard Limits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   2019 and 2020
                                                                                   PSC available   2019 and 2020
                                                                   Ratio of PSC      to trawl      AFA catcher/
                    PSC species and area \1\                      catch to total   vessels after     processor
                                                                        PSC       subtraction of     sideboard
                                                                                      PSQ \2\        limit \2\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halibut mortality BSAI..........................................             n/a             n/a             286
Red king crab Zone 1............................................           0.007          86,621             606
C. opilio (COBLZ)...............................................           0.153      10,641,390       1,628,133
C. bairdi Zone 1................................................           0.140         875,140         122,520
C. bairdi Zone 2................................................           0.050       2,652,210         132,611
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Refer to Sec.   679.2 for definitions of areas.
\2\ Halibut amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals.

AFA Catcher Vessel Sideboard Limits

    Pursuant to Sec.  679.64(b), the Regional Administrator is 
responsible for restricting the ability of AFA CVs to engage in 
directed fishing for groundfish species other than pollock to protect 
participants in other groundfish fisheries from adverse effects 
resulting from the AFA and from fishery cooperatives in the pollock 
directed fishery. Section 679.64(b)(3) and (4) establishes a formula 
for setting AFA CV groundfish and halibut and crab PSC sideboard limits 
for the BSAI. The basis for these sideboard limits is described in 
detail in the final rules implementing the major provisions of the AFA 
(67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, 
September 14, 2007). Section 679.64(b)(6) exempts AFA CVs from a 
yellowfin sole sideboard limit because the 2019 and 2020 aggregate ITAC 
of yellowfin sole assigned to the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl 
limited access sector is greater than 125,000 mt. Tables 22 and 23 list 
the 2019 and 2020 AFA CV sideboard limits.
    All catch of groundfish sideboard species made by non-exempt AFA 
CVs, whether as targeted catch or incidental catch, will be deducted 
from the 2019 and 2020 sideboard limits listed in Table 22.
    Halibut and crab PSC limits listed in Table 23 that are caught by 
AFA CVs participating in any groundfish fishery for groundfish other 
than pollock will accrue against the 2019 and 2020 PSC sideboard limits 
for the AFA CVs. Section 679.21(b)(4)(iii), (e)(3)(v), and (e)(7) 
authorizes NMFS to close directed fishing for groundfish other than 
pollock for AFA CVs once a 2019 or 2020 PSC sideboard limit listed in 
Table 23 is reached. Pursuant to Sec.  679.21(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 
(e)(3)(ii)(C), the halibut and crab PSC by AFA CVs while fishing for 
pollock in the BSAI will accrue against the PSC allowances annually 
specified for the pollock/Atka mackerel/``other species'' fishery 
categories under Sec.  679.21(b)(1)(ii)(B) and (e)(3)(iv).

                          Table 22--Final 2019 and 2020 American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel BSAI Groundfish Sideboard Limits
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                          Ratio of 1995-                     2019 AFA                        2020 AFA
                                                                            1997 AFA CV    2019 Initial   catcher vessel   2020 Initial   catcher vessel
               Species/gear                    Fishery by area/season     catch to 1995-      TAC \1\        sideboard        TAC \1\        sideboard
                                                                             1997 TAC                         limits                          limits
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod/Jig gear......................  BSAI........................  ..............             n/a  ..............             n/a  ..............
Pacific cod/Hook-and-line CV>=60 feet LOA.  BSAI Jan 1-Jun 10...........          0.0006             164               0             127               0
                                            BSAI Jun 10-Dec 31..........          0.0006             157               0             122               0
Pacific cod pot gear CV...................  BSAI Jan 1-Jun 10...........          0.0006           6,884               4           5,340               3
                                            BSAI Sept 1-Dec 31..........          0.0006           6,614               4           5,131               3

[[Page 9022]]

 
Pacific cod CV >= 60 feet LOA using hook-   BSAI........................          0.0006           3,214               2           2,493               1
 and-line or pot gear.
Pacific cod trawl gear CV.................  BSAI Jan 20-Apr 1...........          0.8609          26,388          22,717          20,493          17,642
                                            BSAI Apr 1-Jun 10...........          0.8609           3,923           3,377           3,046           2,622
                                            BSAI Jun 10-Nov 1...........          0.8609           5,349           4,605           4,154           3,576
Sablefish trawl gear......................  BS..........................          0.0906             633              57             847              77
                                            AI..........................          0.0645             427              28             571              37
Atka mackerel.............................  Eastern AI/BS Jan 1-Jun 10..          0.0032          10,703              34           9,908              32
                                            Eastern AI/BS Jun 10-Nov 1..          0.0032          10,703              34           9,908              32
                                            Central AI Jan 1-Jun 10.....          0.0001           6,425               1           5,933               1
                                            Central AI Jun 10-Nov 1.....          0.0001           6,425               1           5,933               1
                                            Western AI Jan 1-Jun 10.....  ..............           8,748  ..............           8,098  ..............
                                            Western AI Jun 10-Nov 1.....  ..............           8,748  ..............           8,098  ..............
Rock sole.................................  BSAI........................          0.0341          42,060           1,434          50,990           1,739
Greenland turbot..........................  BS..........................          0.0645           4,356             281           4,356             281
                                            AI..........................          0.0205             144               3             144               3
Arrowtooth flounder.......................  BSAI........................          0.0690           6,800             469           6,800             469
Kamchatka flounder........................  BSAI........................          0.0690           4,250             293           4,250             293
Alaska plaice.............................  BSAI........................          0.0441          15,300             675          15,300             675
Other flatfish............................  BSAI........................          0.0441           5,525             244           5,525             244
Flathead sole.............................  BS..........................          0.0505          12,949             654          12,949             654
Pacific ocean perch.......................  BS..........................          0.1000          12,474           1,247          12,133           1,213
                                            Eastern AI..................          0.0077           9,831              76           9,953              77
                                            Central AI..................          0.0025           7,488              19           7,327              18
                                            Western AI..................  ..............           8,930  ..............           8,930  ..............
Northern rockfish.........................  BSAI........................          0.0084           5,525              46           5,525              46
Shortraker rockfish.......................  BSAI........................          0.0037             304               1             304               1
Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish............  BS/EAI......................          0.0037              64               0              64               0
                                            CAI/WAI.....................          0.0037             173               1             173               1
Other rockfish............................  BS..........................          0.0048             234               1             234               1
                                            AI..........................          0.0095             388               4             388               4
Skates....................................  BSAI........................          0.0541          22,100           1,196          22,100           1,196
Sculpins..................................  BSAI........................          0.0541           4,250             230           4,250             230
Sharks....................................  BSAI........................          0.0541             106               6             106               6
Octopuses.................................  BSAI........................          0.0541             340              18             340              18
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Aleutians Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI Atka mackerel, flathead sole, Pacific cod, and rock sole are multiplied by the remainder of the TAC
  of that species after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C).
Notes: Section 679.64(b)(6) exempts AFA catcher vessels from a yellowfin sole sideboard limit because the 2019 and 2020 aggregate ITAC of yellowfin sole
  assigned to the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access sector is greater than 125,000 mt.
On February 8, 2019, NMFS published a final rule (84 FR 2723) that modifies regulations for AFA Program participants subject to sideboard limits in the
  BSAI. The final rule establishes regulations to prohibit directed fishing for sideboard limits for specific groundfish species or species groups,
  rather than prohibiting directed fishing for AFA Program sideboard limits through the BSAI annual harvest specifications. Once the final rule is
  effective (effective March 11, 2019), NMFS will no longer publish in the annual BSAI harvest specifications the AFA Program sideboard limit amounts
  for groundfish species subject to the final rule, and the groundfish species subject to the final rule will be prohibited to directed fishing in
  regulation (84 FR 2723).


  Table 23--Final 2019 and 2020 American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel Prohibited Species Catch Sideboard Limits
                                                for the BSAI \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   2019 and 2020
                                                                    AFA catcher      PSC limit     2019 and 2020
                                         Target fishery category    vessel PSC         after        AFA catcher
       PSC species and area \1\                    \2\               sideboard    subtraction of    vessel PSC
                                                                    limit ratio    PSQ reserves      sideboard
                                                                                        \3\          limit \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halibut...............................  Pacific cod trawl.......             n/a             n/a             887
                                        Pacific cod hook-and-                n/a             n/a               2
                                         line or pot.
                                        Yellowfin sole total....             n/a             n/a             101
                                        Rock sole/flathead sole/             n/a             n/a             228
                                         Alaska plaice/other
                                         flatfish \4\.
                                        Greenland turbot/                    n/a             n/a  ..............
                                         arrowtooth/Kamchatka/
                                         sablefish.

[[Page 9023]]

 
                                        Rockfish................             n/a             n/a               2
                                        Pollock/Atka mackerel/               n/a             n/a               5
                                         other species \5\.
Red king crab Zone 1..................  n/a.....................          0.2990          86,621          25,900
C. opilio COBLZ.......................  n/a.....................          0.1680      10,641,390       1,787,754
C. bairdi Zone 1......................  n/a.....................          0.3300         875,140         288,796
C. bairdi Zone 2......................  n/a.....................          0.1860       2,652,210         493,311
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Refer to Sec.   679.2 for definitions of areas.
\2\ Target trawl fishery categories are defined at Sec.   679.21(b)(1)(ii)(B) and (e)(3)(iv).
\3\ Halibut amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals.
\4\ ``Other flatfish'' for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited
  species), Alaska plaice, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, rock sole,
  and yellowfin sole.
\5\ ``Other species'' for PSC monitoring includes skates, sculpins, sharks, and octopuses.

AFA Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel Sideboard Directed Fishing 
Closures

    Based on historical catch patterns, the Regional Administrator has 
determined that many of the AFA C/P and CV sideboard limits listed in 
Tables 24 and 25 are necessary as incidental catch to support other 
anticipated groundfish fisheries for the 2019 and 2020 fishing years. 
In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iv), the Regional Administrator 
establishes the sideboard limits listed in Tables 24 and 25 as DFAs. 
Because many of these DFAs will be reached before the end of the year 
in 2019 and 2020, the Regional Administrator has determined, in 
accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), that NMFS is prohibiting 
directed fishing by listed AFA C/Ps for the species in the specified 
areas set out in Table 24, and prohibiting directed fishing by non-
exempt AFA CVs for the species in the specified areas set out in Table 
25.

    Table 24--Final 2019 and 2020 American Fisheries Act Listed Catcher/Processor Sideboard Directed Fishing
                                                  Closures \1\
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  2019 Sideboard  2020 Sideboard
              Species                        Area                Gear types            limit           limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish trawl...................  BS...................  trawl................              10              14
                                    AI...................  trawl................  ..............  ..............
Rock sole.........................  BSAI.................  all..................           1,556           1,622
Greenland turbot..................  BS...................  all..................              30              30
                                    AI...................  all..................               1               1
Arrowtooth flounder...............  BSAI.................  all..................              14              14
Kamchatka flounder................  BSAI.................  all..................               9               9
Alaska plaice.....................  BSAI.................  all..................              15              15
Other flatfish \2\................  BSAI.................  all..................             320             320
Flathead sole.....................  BSAI.................  all..................             466             466
Pacific ocean perch...............  BS...................  all..................              25              24
                                    Eastern AI...........  all..................             197             199
                                    Central AI...........  all..................               7               7
                                    Western AI...........  all..................              36              36
Northern rockfish.................  BSAI.................  all..................              39              39
Shortraker rockfish...............  BSAI.................  all..................               5               5
Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish....  EBS/EAI..............  all..................               1               1
                                    CAI/WAI..............  all..................               3               3
Other rockfish \3\................  BS...................  all..................               7               7
                                    AI...................  all..................              10              10
Skates............................  BSAI.................  all..................             177             177
Sculpins..........................  BSAI.................  all..................              34              34
Sharks............................  BSAI.................  all..................               1               1
Octopuses.........................  BSAI.................  all..................               3               3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Maximum retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679.
\2\ ``Other flatfish'' includes all flatfish species, except for halibut, Alaska plaice, flathead sole,
  Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Kamchatka flounder, and arrowtooth flounder.
\3\ ``Other rockfish'' includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern
  rockfish, shortraker rockfish, and blackspotted/rougheye rockfish.


[[Page 9024]]


   Table 25-Final 2019 and 2020 American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel Sideboard Directed Fishing Closures \1\
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  2019 sideboard  2020 sideboard
              Species                        Area                Gear types            limit           limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod.......................  BSAI.................  hook-and-line CV>=60                0               0
                                                            feet LOA.
                                    BSAI.................  pot CV>=60 feet LOA..               9               8
                                    BSAI.................  hook-and-line or pot                2               2
                                                            CV<=60 feet LOA.
                                    BSAI.................  jig..................               0               0
Sablefish.........................  BS...................  trawl................              56              79
                                    AI...................  trawl................              27              38
Atka mackerel.....................  Eastern AI/BS........  all..................             104              96
                                    Central AI...........  all..................               2               2
                                    Western AI...........  all..................               0               0
Greenland turbot..................  BS...................  all..................             281             281
                                    AI...................  all..................               3               3
Arrowtooth flounder...............  BSAI.................  all..................             799             821
Kamchatka flounder................  BSAI.................  all..................             293             293
Alaska plaice.....................  BSAI.................  all..................             501             609
Other flatfish \2\................  BSAI.................  all..................             150             150
Flathead sole.....................  BSAI.................  all..................             654             744
Rock sole.........................  BSAI.................  all..................           1,434           1,495
Pacific ocean perch...............  BS...................  all..................            1008             977
                                    Eastern AI...........  all..................              62              67
                                    Central AI...........  all..................              17              17
                                    Western AI...........  all..................               0               0
Northern rockfish.................  BSAI.................  all..................              44              46
Shortraker rockfish...............  BSAI.................  all..................               1               1
Blackspotted/Rougheye rockfish....  BS/EAI...............  all..................               0               0
                                    CAI/WAI..............  all..................               1               1
Other rockfish \3\................  BS...................  all..................               1               1
                                    AI...................  all..................               5               5
Skates............................  BSAI.................  all..................           1,242           1,242
Sculpins..........................  BSAI.................  all..................             230             230
Sharks............................  BSAI.................  all..................              10              10
Squids............................  BSAI.................  all..................             390             390
Octopuses.........................  BSAI.................  all..................              14              11
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Maximum retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679.
\2\ ``Other flatfish'' includes all flatfish species, except for halibut, Alaska plaice, flathead sole,
  Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Kamchatka flounder, and arrowtooth flounder.
\3\ ``Other rockfish'' includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern
  rockfish, shortraker rockfish, and blackspotted/rougheye rockfish.

Response to Comments

    NMFS received no comments during the public comment period for the 
proposed BSAI groundfish harvest specifications. No changes were made 
to the final rule in response to the comment letters received.

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 Order 12866.
    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 Final EIS. 
In February 2019, NMFS prepared a Supplemental Information Report (SIR) 
for this action. Copies of the Final EIS, ROD, and annual SIRs for this 
action are available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). The Final EIS analyzes 
the environmental, social, and economic consequences of the groundfish 
harvest specifications and alternative harvest strategies on resources 
in the action area. Based on the analysis in the Final EIS, NMFS 
concluded that the preferred Alternative (Alternative 2) provides the 
best balance among relevant environmental, social, and economic 
considerations and allows for continued management of the groundfish 
fisheries based on the most recent, best scientific information.
    The SIR evaluates the need to prepare a Supplemental EIS (SEIS) for 
the 2019 and 2020 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 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications, which were set 
according to the preferred harvest strategy in the EIS, does 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 impacts. Additionally, the 
2019 and 2020 harvest specifications will result in environmental, 
social, and economic 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 2019 and 
2020 harvest specifications.

[[Page 9025]]

    Section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 604) 
requires that, when an agency promulgates a final rule under 5 U.S.C. 
553, 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). The following constitutes 
the FRFA prepared in the final action.
    The required contents of a FRFA, as described in section 604, are: 
(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; and (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 
included at the beginning of the preamble to this final rule and are 
not repeated here.
    NMFS published the proposed rule on December 6, 2018 (83 FR 62815). 
NMFS prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) to 
accompany the proposed action, and included a summary in the proposed 
rule. The comment period closed on January 7, 2019. No comments were 
received on the IRFA or on the economic impacts of the rule more 
generally. The Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration did not file any comments on the proposed rule.
    The entities directly regulated by this action are those that 
harvest groundfish in the exclusive economic zone of the BSAI and in 
parallel fisheries within State waters. These include entities 
operating catcher vessels and catcher/processors within the action area 
and entities receiving direct allocations of groundfish.
    For RFA purposes only, NMFS has established a small business size 
standard for businesses, including their affiliates, whose primary 
industry is commercial fishing (see 50 CFR 200.2). A business primarily 
engaged in commercial fishing (NAICS code 11411) is classified as a 
small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not 
dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has 
combined annual gross receipts not in excess of $11 million for all its 
affiliated operations worldwide.
    Using the most recent data available (2017), the estimated number 
of directly regulated small entities include approximately 170 catcher 
vessels, four catcher/processors, and six CDQ groups. Some of these 
vessels are members of AFA inshore pollock cooperatives, Gulf of Alaska 
rockfish cooperatives, or BSAI Crab Rationalization Program 
cooperatives, and, since under the RFA the aggregate gross receipts of 
all participating members of the cooperative must meet the ``under $11 
million'' threshold, the cooperatives are considered to be large 
entities within the meaning of the RFA. Thus, the estimate of 170 
catcher vessels may be an overstatement of the number of small 
entities. Average gross revenues in 2017 were $570,000 for small hook-
and-line vessels, $1.37 million for small pot vessels, and $3.15 
million for small trawl vessels. The average gross revenue for catcher/
processors are not reported, due to confidentiality considerations.
    This action does not modify recordkeeping or reporting 
requirements.
    The significant alternatives were those considered as alternative 
harvest strategies when the Council selected its preferred harvest 
strategy (Alternative 2) in December 2006. These included the 
following:
     Alternative 1: Set TAC to produce fishing mortality rates, 
F, that are equal to maxFABC, unless the sum of the TAC is constrained 
by the OY established in the FMP. This is equivalent to setting TAC to 
produce harvest levels equal to the maximum permissible ABC, as 
constrained by OY. The term ``maxFABC'' refers to the maximum 
permissible value of FABC under Amendment 56 to the BSAI and Gulf of 
Alaska groundfish fishery management plans. 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, TAC 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, TAC 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 ABC, and recent 
average F may provide a better indicator of actual F than FABC does.
     Alternative 4: First, set TAC for rockfish species in Tier 
3 at F75%; set TAC for rockfish species in Tier 5 at F=0.5M; and set 
spatially explicit TAC for shortraker and rougheye rockfish in the 
BSAI. Second, taking the rockfish TAC as calculated above, reduce all 
other TAC by a proportion that does not vary across species, so that 
the sum of all TAC, including rockfish TAC, is equal to the lower bound 
of the area OY (1.4 million mt in the BSAI). This alternative sets 
conservative and spatially explicit TAC for rockfish species that are 
long-lived and late to mature, and sets conservative TAC for the other 
groundfish species.
     Alternative 5: (No Action) Set TAC at zero.
    Alternative 2 is the preferred alternative chosen by the Council: 
Set TACs that fall within the range of ABCs recommended through the 
Council harvest specifications process and TACs recommended by the 
Council. Under this scenario, F is set equal to a constant fraction of 
maxFABC. The recommended fractions of maxFABC may vary among species or 
stocks, based on other considerations unique to each. This is the 
method for determining TACs that has been used in the past.
    Alternatives 1, 3, 4, and 5 do not meet the objectives of this 
action, and although Alternatives 1 and 3 may have a smaller adverse 
economic impact on small entities than the preferred alternative, 
Alternatives 4 and 5 likely would have a significant adverse economic 
impact on small entities. The Council rejected these alternatives as 
harvest strategies in 2006, and the Secretary of Commerce did so in 
2007.

[[Page 9026]]

    Alternative 1 would lead to TAC limits whose sum exceeds the 
fishery OY, which is set out in statute and the FMP. As shown in Table 
1 and Table 2, the sum of ABCs in 2019 and 2020 would be 3,367,578 mt 
and 2,967,269 mt, respectively. Both of these are substantially in 
excess of the fishery OY for the BSAI. This result would be 
inconsistent with the objectives of this action, in that it would 
violate the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004, Public Law 108-
199, Division B, section 803(c), and the FMP, which both set a 2.0 
million mt maximum harvest for BSAI groundfish.
    Alternative 3 selects harvest rates based on the most recent 5 
years' worth of harvest rates (for species in Tiers 1 through 3) or 
based on the most recent 5 years' worth of harvests (for species in 
Tiers 4 through 6). This alternative is also inconsistent with the 
objectives of this action, as well as National Standard 2 of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act (16 U.S.C. 1851(a)(2)), because it does not take 
into account the most recent biological information for this fishery. 
NMFS annually conducts at-sea stock surveys for different species, as 
well as statistical modeling, to estimate stock sizes and permissible 
harvest levels. Actual harvest rates or harvest amounts are a component 
of these estimates, but in and of themselves may not accurately portray 
stock sizes and conditions. Harvest rates are listed for each species 
category for each year in the SAFE report (see ADDRESSES).
    Alternative 4 would lead to significantly lower harvests of all 
groundfish species to reduce TAC from the upper end of the OY range in 
the BSAI to its lower end of 1.4 million mt. This result would lead to 
significant reductions in harvests of species by small entities. While 
reductions of this size could be associated with offsetting price 
increases, the size of these increases is uncertain, and, assuming 
volume decreases would lead to price increases, it is unclear whether 
price increases would be sufficient to offset the volume decreases and 
to leave revenues unchanged for small entities. Thus, this alternative 
would have an adverse economic impact on small entities, compared to 
the preferred alternative.
    Alternative 5, which sets all harvests equal to zero, may address 
conservation issues, but would have a significant adverse economic 
impact on small entities and would be inconsistent with achieving OY on 
a continuing basis, as mandated by the Magnuson-Stevens Act (16 U.S.C. 
1851(a)(1)).
    Impacts on marine mammals resulting from fishing activities 
conducted under this rule are discussed in the EIS (see ADDRESSES).
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Assistant Administrator for 
Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the date 
of effectiveness for this rule because delaying this rule is contrary 
to the public interest. The Plan Team review of the 2018 SAFE report 
occurred in November 2018, and the Council considered and recommended 
the final harvest specifications in December 2018. Accordingly, NMFS's 
review of the final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications could not 
begin until after the December 2018 Council meeting, and after the 
public had time to comment on the proposed action.
    If this rule's effectiveness is delayed, fisheries that might 
otherwise remain open under these rules may prematurely close based on 
the lower TACs established in the final 2018 and 2019 harvest 
specifications (83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018). If implemented 
immediately, this rule would allow these fisheries to continue fishing, 
because some of the new TACs implemented by this rule are higher than 
the TACs under which they are currently fishing.
    In addition, 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 pertinent for those species that have lower 2019 ABCs and 
TACs than those established in the 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications 
(83 FR 8365, February 27, 2018). If implemented immediately, this rule 
would ensure that NMFS can properly manage those fisheries for which 
this rule sets lower 2019 ABCs and TACs, which are based on the most 
recent biological information on the condition of stocks, rather than 
managing species under the higher TACs set in the previous year's 
harvest specifications.
    Certain fisheries, such as those for pollock and Pacific cod, are 
intensive, fast-paced fisheries. Other fisheries, such as those for 
flatfish, rockfish, skates, sculpins, sharks, and octopuses, are 
critical as directed fisheries and as incidental catch in other 
fisheries. U.S. fishing vessels have demonstrated the capacity to catch 
the TAC allocations in these fisheries. Any delay in allocating the 
final TAC limits in these fisheries would cause confusion in the 
industry and potential economic harm through unnecessary discards, thus 
undermining the intent of this rule. Predicting which fisheries may 
close is difficult 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, for 
example by freeing up fishing vessels, which would allow those vessels 
to move from closed fisheries to open ones and lead to an increase in 
the fishing capacity in those open fisheries, thereby causing those 
open fisheries to close at an accelerated pace.
    Additionally, in fisheries subject to declining sideboards, 
delaying this rule's effectiveness could allow some vessels to 
inadvertently reach or exceed their new sideboard limits. Because 
sideboards are intended to protect traditional fisheries in other 
sectors, allowing one sector to exceed its new sideboards by delaying 
this rule's effectiveness would effectively reduce the available catch 
for sectors that the sideboard limits are meant to protect. Moreover, 
the new TACs and sideboard limits protect the fisheries from being 
overfished. Thus, the delay is contrary to the public interest in 
protecting traditional fisheries and fish stocks.
    If the final harvest specifications are not effective by March 15, 
2019, which is the start of the 2019 Pacific halibut season as 
specified by the IPHC, the hook-and-line sablefish fishery will not 
begin concurrently with the Pacific halibut IFQ season. Delayed 
effectiveness of this action would result in confusion for sablefish 
harvesters and economic harm from unnecessary discard of sablefish that 
are caught along with Pacific halibut, as both hook-and-line sablefish 
and Pacific halibut are managed under the same IFQ program. Immediate 
effectiveness of the final 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications will 
allow the sablefish IFQ fishery to begin concurrently with the Pacific 
halibut IFQ season.
    Finally, immediate effectiveness also would provide the fishing 
industry the earliest possible opportunity to plan and conduct its 
fishing operations with respect to new information about TAC limits. 
Therefore, NMFS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the date 
of 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 2019 and 2020 harvest specifications 
and prohibited species bycatch allowances for the

[[Page 9027]]

groundfish fisheries of the BSAI. This action is necessary to establish 
harvest limits and associated management measures for groundfish during 
the 2019 and 2020 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and 
objectives of the FMP. This action directly affects all fishermen who 
participate in the BSAI fisheries. The specific amounts of OFL, ABC, 
TAC, and PSC amounts are provided in tables to assist the reader. NMFS 
will announce closures of directed fishing in the Federal Register and 
information bulletins released by the Alaska Region. Affected fishermen 
should keep themselves informed of such closures.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1540(f); 16 U.S.C. 
1801 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 3631 et seq.; Pub. L. 105-277; Pub. L. 106-
31; Pub. L. 106-554; Pub. L. 108-199; Pub. L. 108-447; Pub. L. 109-
241; Pub. L. 109-479.

    Dated: March 7, 2019.
Samuel D. Rauch, III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-04539 Filed 3-12-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P