Emergency Action to Temporarily Remove Seasonal Processing Limitations for Pacific Whiting Motherships and Catcher-Processors
This Emergency Rule action temporarily allows eligible Mothership (MS) and Catcher-Processor (C/P) vessels to operate as either type of processing platform during the 2020 Pacific whiting season. This emergency rule is effective for 180 days, from June 19, 2020, to December 16, 2020.
Mothership and Catcher-Processor vessels would be allowed to operate as both types of processing platforms, in the same calendar year, but not on the same trip. Prior to departing on a trip, a vessel must declare through the Vessel Monitoring System the permit and sector (Mothership or Catcher-Processor) it will operate under for the duration of the trip.
This action is necessary to provide operational flexibility to the at-sea Pacific whiting sector affected by new, unforeseen health, safety, and economic risks in 2020.This flexibility could allow at least three Mothership catcher vessels that have lost their processing platform unforeseen risks to harvest Mothership sector Pacific whiting allocation. This action may provide additional harvesting and processing opportunities for at-sea Pacific whiting fishery participants while they operate under unforeseen economic circumstances in the 2020 whiting season. For further details, view this emergency rule in the Federal Register (see below).