Authorization of the Formation of a Recreational Quota Entity to Participate in the Pacific Halbut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program in Areas 2C and 3A in the Gulf of Alaska
NOAA Fisheries issues regulations that authorize formation of a recreational quota entity (RQE) that could participate in the Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program in International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Areas 2C and 3A in the Gulf of Alaska. The RQE is authorized to purchase and hold a limited amount of commercial halibut quota share that will yield additional pounds of recreational fishing quota on an annual basis to augment the amount of halibut available for harvest in the charter halibut fishery. The RQE will provide a mechanism for a compensated reallocation of a portion of commercial halibut quota share to the charter halibut fishery. This final rule is necessary to promote social and economic flexibility in the charter halibut fishery, and is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, and other applicable laws.