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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BJ02 Publication ID: Fall 2019 
Title: ●Amendment 120 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area and Amendment 108 to the Fishery Management Plan 
Abstract:

This rulemaking action proposes to implement a recommendation by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) to limit the number of catcher/processors (CPs) acting as motherships and taking deliveries of Pacific cod from trawl catcher vessels (CVs) in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) and the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) directed Pacific cod fisheries. In recent years, an unexpected increase in the number of CPs accepting such deliveries allowed under current regulations has resulted in increased deliveries of BSAI non-Community Development Quota Pacific cod by trawl CVs engaging in directed fishing to CPs acting as motherships, a corresponding decrease in the amount of Pacific cod delivered to shoreside processing facilities, and a faster-paced fishery (e.g., earlier closures of the fishing season due to quota being harvested). The Council determined that limiting the number of eligible licenses issued under the License Limitation Program (LLP) assigned to CPs to act as motherships in this fishery could reduce the portion of Pacific cod delivered offshore to recent historical levels, prevent further reductions in the amount of Pacific cod delivered to shoreside processors, and stabilize the fishing season duration. This action proposes to modify the LLP by establishing eligibility criteria, based on historic participation, for an endorsement to licenses assigned to CPs to act as motherships in this fishery. This action would also prohibit Amendment 80 sector CPs not designated on an Amendment 80 Quota Share (QS) permit and an Amendment 80 LLP license or not designated on an Amendment 80 LLP/QS license from receiving Pacific cod harvested in the directed Pacific cod fisheries in the BSAI and GOA. This prohibition would ensure that only an Amendment 80 replacement CP, as specified under Amendment 97 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the BSAI Management Area (77 FR 59852, October 21, 2012), and not the replaced Amendment 80 CP, could participate in directed Pacific cod fisheries in the BSAI or the GOA. This would limit the expanded use of CPs once they leave the Amendment 80 program.

 
Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Not subject to, not significant 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 679   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None
Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
Notice of Availability  08/21/2019  84 FR 43576   
NPRM  09/27/2019  84 FR 51092   
NPRM Comment Period End  10/28/2019 
Final Rule  12/00/2019 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
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
Email: jim.balsiger@noaa.gov