Pacific Coast Groundfish Widow Rockfish Quota Share Reallocation
This rule reallocates quota shares (QS) of widow rockfish in the Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program. In January 2011, NMFS implemented the trawl rationalization program, which includes an IFQ Program for limited entry (LE) trawl participants. At the time of implementation, the widow rockfish stock was overfished and QS were allocated to QS permit holders in the Shorebased IFQ Program (the Program) only to cover widow rockfish bycatch that may be associated with harvest of target species. Now that widow rockfish has been rebuilt, this action reallocates QS to initial recipients to reestablish a target widow rockfish fishery. The reallocation is based on a target species formula that more closely represents the fishing history of permit holders when widow rockfish was a targeted species. This final rule also removes the daily vessel limit for widow rockfish, allows the trading of widow rockfish QS, and sets a deadline for divestiture of excess QS should the reallocation of widow rockfish cause any QS permit holder to exceed an accumulation limit.