Amendment 45 to the FMP for the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs
NOAA Fisheries publishes regulations to implement Amendment 45 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs. Amendment 45 establishes, for a limited period of time, a process for NOAA Fisheries to permanently remove Pacific cod catch limits, known as sideboard limits, which are applicable to certain hook-and-line catcher/processors in the Central and Western Gulf of Alaska Regulatory Areas. This action authorizes NOAA Fisheries to remove these Pacific cod sideboard limits in the Central and/or Western GOA if each eligible participant in the hook-and-line catcher/processor sector in a regulatory area signs and submits a request that NOAA Fisheries remove the sideboard limit. Each eligible participant will be required to submit the request to NOAA Fisheries within 1 year of the date of publication of this final rule.
This action is necessary to provide participants in the Central and Western GOA hook-and-line catcher/processor sectors with an opportunity to cooperatively coordinate harvests of Pacific cod through private arrangement to the participants' mutual benefit, which would remove the need for sideboard limits in these regulatory areas. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Crab FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and other applicable law.