Comment now on GOA Pollock, cod allocations

Federal fisheries managers are accepting comments now in advance of a vote in early June in Sitka on management adjustments for Gulf of Alaska Pollock and Pacific cod season allocation.

Forms to comment on this, plus other final action and other issues before the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in Sitka June 3-10 can be found online at meetings.npfmc.org/Meeting/Details/763.

The council voted at its December meeting in Anchorage to adopt for public review an analysis of alternatives intended to deal with operational inefficiencies in the trawl catcher vessel Pollock and Pacific cod fisheries in the Western and Central Gulf of Alaska.

Alternatives would allow additional flexibility for Pollock fisheries by moving from the existing equal four-season total allowable catch allocation to equal two-season allocations.

Under the seasonal modification, the Pollock A and B seasons would be combined into a season that runs from Jan. 20 through May 31 and the C and D seasons would be combined into a single season running from Aug. 25 through Nov. 1. The council also is considering whether to increase the 20 percent cap on in-year seasonal rollovers of unharvested Pollock total allowable catch offers flexibility to better utilize the available harvest. The preliminary preferred alternative agreed upon would increase the cap to 25 percent.

For the Pacific cod fishery, the council’s aim is to reduce the under harvest of B season total allowable catch in the trawl catcher vessel sector by moving some of that seasonally allocated total allowable catch to the A season. Sectors other than the trawl catcher vessels would not be impacted by options for the amount of the seasonal reallocation.

The complete agenda for the Sitka meeting, plus options for comment on all issues can be found at the above website. The meeting will be broadcast over the internet and all motions passed during the meeting will also be posted on the above website.