Amendment 102 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NOAA Fisheries publishes regulations to implement Amendment 102 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and a regulatory amendment to the Individual Fishing Quota Program for the Fixed-Gear Commercial Fisheries for Pacific Halibut and Sablefish in Waters in and off Alaska. Amendment 102 and the implementing regulations create, in halibut IFQ regulatory area 4B and the sablefish Aleutian Islands regulatory area, a Community Quota Entity Program that is similar to the existing CQE Program in the Gulf of Alaska.
These actions allow an eligible community in Area 4B and in the Aleutian Islands to establish a non-profit organization as a CQE to purchase halibut catcher vessel quota share assigned to Area 4B and sablefish QS assigned to the Aleutian Islands. The CQE would assign the annual halibut and sablefish IFQ derived from the QS to participants according to defined CQE Program elements. In addition, this action revises the IFQ Program regulations to allow IFQ derived from D share halibut QS to be fished on Category C vessels in Area 4B. These actions provide additional fishing opportunities for residents of fishery dependent communities and sustain participation in the halibut and sablefish IFQ fisheries. These actions are intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the BSAI FMP, and other applicable law.