NOAA Fisheries considers 4 emergency action proposals

NOAA Fisheries has under consideration four emergency or expedited changes to federal fishing regulations recommended by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council related to halibut, sablefish, rockfish and the Adak community quota entity program for 2021.

The first motion, which does not modify other aspects of the individual fishing quota program, would allow the temporary transfer of catcher vessel halibut and sablefish IFQ for all IFQ shareholders for the 2021 season.

The council recommended in a second motion that the start date for the 2021 Central Gulf Rockfish Program be moved from May 1 to April 1.

Removal of the vessel use cap regulations for IFQ halibut harvested in the International Pacific Halibut Commission regulatory Areas 4A, 4B 4C and 4D is the third recommendation.

The council also recommended suspension of residency requirements applicable to the Adak Community quota entity program for this year.

NOAA Fisheries officials advise that it typically takes five to six weeks for the federal agency to

to analyze the proposals, after which they will publish a rule in the Federal Register. Meanwhile NOAA Fisheries has developed a questions and answers webpage at www.fisheries.noaa.gov/alaska/commercial-fishing/north-pacific-fishery-management-council-requests-emergency-actions to respond to the most frequently asked questions on these proposed changes.

Additional information and questions about permits or transfer applications should be referred to the Restricted Access Management Program at 800-304-4846 option No. 2, 907-586-7474, or via email to RAM.Alaska@noaa.gov.

Further information and questions regarding regulations and the rulemaking process should be referred to the Sustainable Fisheries Division at 907-586-7228.