Wednesday, April 10, 2013

NPFMC Takes Final Action on BSAI Flatfish Specifications Flexibility

Federal fisheries managers have voted to annually allocate the harvest limit surplus of flathead sole, rock sole and yellowfin sole to Amendment 80 cooperatives and the community development quota program.

The action concerning the difference between the acceptable biological catch and the total allowable catch came during the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s April meeting in Anchorage.

Regulations for this allocation must still be written by the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the measure is anticipated to be in effect by 2015.

The council’s action calls for using the same formulas as are used in the annual harvest specifications process.

Entities may exchange their yellowfin sole, flathead sole, and/or rock sole quota share for an equivalent amount of their allocation of the harvest limit surplus for these species. Quota share that is exchanged for harvest limit surplus may be credited back to the entity’s allocation of the surplus if unused, under the alternative approved.

Amendment 80 vessels were designated under Amendment 80 to the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Fishery Management Plan, adopted by the council in June 2006. The amendment allocated to several BSAI non-pollock trawl groundfish species among trawl fisheries sectors and facilitated the formation of harvesting cooperatives in the non-American Fisheries Act trawl catcher/processor sector.

A full explanation of Amendment 80 is online at

The Community Development Quota, or CDQ program, allocates a percentage of all BSAI quota for groundfish, prohibited species, halibut and crab to eligible communities, with a goal of giving eligible western Alaska villages opportunities to participate in and invest in commercial fisheries.

More about that program is at

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