Approval of 2021 and 2022 Sector Operations Plans and Allocation of 2021 Northeast Multispecies Annual Catch Entitlements
We are approving fishing years 2021 and 2022 sector operations plans and contracts for 16 groundfish sectors and granting 19 regulatory exemptions to improve the efficiency and flexibility of sector vessels. We are also allocating preliminary fishing year 2021 annual catch entitlements based on Framework Adjustment 59 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, announcing default specifications for seven Northeast multispecies stocks (Gulf of Maine winter flounder, Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic winter flounder, redfish, ocean pout, Atlantic wolffish, Eastern Georges Bank cod, and Eastern Georges Bank haddock), and amending the regulations to administer electronic monitoring. We announced our determination that the electronic monitoring audit model is sufficient for use instead of at-sea monitors to meet sector monitoring and reporting requirements in the proposed rule.
Approval of sector operations plans and contracts is necessary to allocate annual catch entitlements to the sectors for sectors to operate. This action allows limited access permit holders to continue to operate or form sectors, as authorized under the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, and exempts sectors from certain effort control regulations.