Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Change Proposed for BSAI Crab Rationalization Program

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has submitted for review by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker an amendment to the fishery management plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands king and tanner crabs.

The proposed Amendment 44 was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 9.

It would modify required right of first refusal contract terms that provide eligible crab community entities with the opportunity to purchase certain processor quota shares and other associated assets when they are proposed for sale.

Amendment 44 would specifically extend the time allowed for eligible crab community entities to exercise and perform under a ROFR contract.

It would also remove or modify provisions that currently allow a ROFR to lapse under specific conditions, and provide flexibility for eligible crab community entities and processor quota shareholders to apply a ROFR to mutually agreed upon assets, and add new reporting requirements for holders of processor quota shares subject to a ROFR.

The crab rationalization program includes several provisions intended to protect specific communities that were historically active in processing king and tanner crab from adverse impacts that could result from the program.

The nine communities that satisfied eligibility criteria for community protection measures under the crab rationalization program include Adak, Akutan, Dutch Harbor, Kodiak, King Cove, False Pass, St. George, St. Paul and Port Moller.

Comments on Amendment 44 are being accepted through Dec. 8.

They may be submitted electronically via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at!docketDetail;D=NOAA=NMFS-2013-0057, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete required fields and enter or attach comments.

Comments may also be mailed to Glenn Merrill, assistant regional administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian,
P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.

All comments received are part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on without change. For further information, contact Rachel Baker, at 1-907-586-7228.

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