Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Harvest Specifications for the Central Subpopulation of Northern Anchovy
NMFS issues this proposed rule to revise the annual reference points, including the overfishing limit (OFL), acceptable biological catch (ABC) and annual catch limit (ACL), for the central subpopulation of northern anchovy in the U.S. exclusive economic zone off the west coast under the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan. NMFS prepared this rulemaking in response to a September 2020 court decision (Oceana, Inc. v. Ross et al.) that vacated the OFL, ABC, and ACL for the central subpopulation of northern anchovy and ordered NMFS to promulgate a new rule in compliance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and Administrative Procedure Act. NMFS is proposing an OFL of 119,153 metric tons (mt), an ABC of 29,788 mt, and an ACL of 25,000 mt. If the ACL for this stock is reached or projected to be reached, then fishing will be closed until it reopens at the start of the next fishing season. This rule is intended to conserve and manage the central subpopulation of northern anchovy off the U.S. West Coast.