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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BF42 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Allow the Use of Longline Pot Gear in the Gulf of Alaska Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Fishery 

This action would amend Federal regulations to allow fishermen to use longline pot gear to harvest sablefish in the Gulf of Alaska Individual Fishing Quota fishery. Hook-and-line gear is currently the only authorized gear type in the sablefish Individual Fishing Quota fishery. The action would authorize Individual Fishing Quota fishermen to use either longline pot gear or hook-and-line gear in the sablefish Individual Fishing Quota fishery. Some fishermen would like to use longline pot gear because it is less prone to whale interactions than hook-and-line gear. Whales can remove sablefish from hook-and-line gear, which reduces fishing efficiency and increases costs for sablefish Individual Fishing Quota fishermen because the whale interactions damage hook-and-line gear and reduce sablefish catch rates. However, whales cannot remove sablefish from longline pot gear, and the action to authorize longline pot gear in the sablefish Individual Fishing Quota fishery is intended to reduce fishery interactions with whales and reduce the negative impacts of whale interactions on the sablefish Individual Fishing Quota fleet. The action would establish management measures to minimize conflicts between hook-and-line and longline pot gear on the fishing grounds and to prevent significant consolidation of sablefish Individual Fishing Quota onto fewer vessels.

Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 300    50 CFR 679   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.    16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
Notice of Availability  08/08/2016  81 FR 52394   
NPRM  08/19/2016  81 FR 55408   
NPRM Comment Period End  09/19/2016 
Final Action  11/00/2016 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
James Balsiger
Regional Administrator, Alaska Region
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
709 West Ninth Street,
Juneau, AK 99801
Phone:907 586-7221
Fax:907 586-7465