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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BJ34 Publication ID: Spring 2020 
Title: ●Community Quota Entity Individual Fishing Quota Fish Up in Area 3A  
Abstract:

In response to a recommendation by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, this rulemaking action proposes to allow area 3A "D” class Pacific halibut Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) held by Community Quota Entities (CQEs) located in area 3A to be harvested on "C” class vessels after August 15 each year. CQEs are non-profit organizations that hold fishery privileges, including IFQ, for the benefit of eligible rural coastal communities. Currently, in area 3A the class of IFQ must be matched to the class of vessel used to harvest it. "D” class IFQ must be harvested on vessels less than 35 feet Length over all (LOA) and "C” class IFQ must be harvested on vessels less than or equal to 60 feet LOA. This action would provide additional harvest flexibility that could allow CQEs in area 3A to more fully benefit from their "D” class IFQ by harvesting it on larger "C” class vessels. Affected stakeholders testified to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) that "D” class vessels are not always available in rural communities to harvest IFQ, which can lead to the IFQ going unharvested. Use of this provision would be limited to after August 15 each year, which is near the end of the IFQ season. Implementing this harvest flexibility late in the IFQ season as a contingency measure strikes a reasonable balance with the Council’s intent for the vessel/quota class system to maintain historical harvest patterns by vessel size, and the intent of the CQE Program to facilitate and maintain access to fishery resources for rural coastal communities. This action would apply to a relatively small amount of IFQ held by CQEs in area 3A, up to a maximum of approximately 10 percent of all area 3A "D” class IFQ. Use of this provision would be voluntary, with the additional end-of-season harvest flexibility potentially providing marginal benefits to CQEs.

 
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: Deregulatory 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 679   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None
Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  04/14/2020  85 FR 20657   
NPRM Comment Period End  05/14/2020 
Final Action  07/00/2020 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Organizations  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