A proposed rule published in the Federal Register in early September clarifies ways for owners in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota Program to divest themselves of excess quota shares.
According to the West Coast Trawlers’ Network, the proposed rule from National Marine Fisheries Service clarifies and expands the methods available by which those quota share owners may proceed.
Public comments were being accepted only through Oct. 2.
Since the trawl rationalization program was implemented, the Pacific Fishery Management Council and NMFS have worked to implement additional regulatory changes to further improve the program and respond to industry needs.
Quota share permit owners who exceed control rules must divest by Nov. 30, at which time NMFS will revoke their excess. The rulemaking is intended to add another option for divestiture and clarify revocation procedures.
The process for divestiture of excess quota share proposed rule includes three distinct proposed actions:
- It would allow quota share permit owners who exceed the initial November 2015 aggregate control limit to abandon quota share to NMFS.
- It would allow quota share permit owners who exceed the aggregate control limit in 2016 and beyond to abandon quota share to NMFS.
- If a quota share permit owner does not take action to meet either an individual species control limit across multiple quota share permits, or the aggregate control limit, it would allow the implementing of methods by which NMFS will revoke and redistribute quota shares from such quota share permit owners.