NOAA Fisheries has taken under consideration four recommendations from the North Pacific Fishery Management Council for emergency or expedited changes to federal fishing regulations made in early February by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
The first motion would allow for temporary transfer of catcher vessel halibut and sablefish individual fishing quota (IFQ) for all individual quota shareholders for the 2021 fishing season.
The second would move the start date of the 2021 Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program fishery from May 1 to April 1.
The third motion would remove vessel use cap regulations for IFQ halibut harvested in the International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Areas 4A 4B 4C and 4D for the 2021 IFQ fishing season.
The fourth motion would suspend the residency requirements applicable to the Adak Community Quota Entity Program for 2021.
Once NOAA Fisheries concludes its analysis of the council’s recommendations, and if they are approved by the Secretary of Commerce, a rule will be published in the Federal Register. While the process typically takes five to six weeks the exact timing may vary for each action.
In response to a number of inquiries from participants in each of these Alaska fisheries, NOAA Fisheries has developed a questions and answers webpage – https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/alaska/commercial-fishing/north-pacific-fishery-management-council-requests-emergency-actions – to answer the most frequently asked questions on recommended emergency or expedited regulations.
Those with additional information or questions about permits or transfer applications should contact the Restricted Access Management Program at 800-304-4846 option #2 or 907-586-7474 or via email at RAM.Alaska@noaa.gov.
For additional information or questions about regulations and the rulemaking process, contact the Sustainable Fisheries Division at 907-586-7228.