Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Final Rule that Implements Amendment 118 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
Summary of BSAI halibut and sablefish pot gear requirements. Includes information on regulations for vessel monitoring system (VMS) requirements.
Small Entity Compliance Guide
The information on this web page, serves as the small entity compliance guide for the final rule that implements Amendment 118 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and a regulatory amendment that revises regulations on Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) requirements in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) and Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The final rule is necessary to improve efficiency and provide economic benefits for the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) and Community Development Quota (CDQ) fleets, minimize whale depredation and seabird interactions in the IFQ and CDQ fisheries, and reduce the risk of exceeding an overfishing limit for any species.
This small entity compliance guide information complies with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, and provides a summary of regulatory requirements. If you are required to comply with these regulations, consult and rely on the exact regulatory text available online at:
- 50 CFR 679: Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska
- 50 CFR 300: International Fishing and Related Activities
BSAI Halibut and Sablefish Pot Gear Requirements
Additional regulations that implement specific requirements for any vessel operator who fishes for IFQ or CDQ halibut or IFQ or CDQ sablefish in the BSAI using pot gear are set out under: §300.61 Definitions, §679.2 Definitions, §679.5 Recordkeeping and reporting (R&R), §679.7 Prohibitions, §679.20 General limitations, §679.22 Closures, §679.24 Gear limitations, §679.25 Inseason adjustments, §679.28 Equipment and operational requirements, §679.42 Limitations on use of QS and IFQ, and §679.51 Observer requirements for vessels and plants.
This applies to:
Any vessel operator who fishes for IFQ or CDQ halibut or IFQ or CDQ sablefish with pot gear in the BSAI must comply with the requirements of paragraph (m) of this section. The IFQ regulatory areas in the BSAI include 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E and the portion of Area 4A in the Bering Sea Aleutian Islands west of 170°00′ W. long.
To use pot gear to fish for IFQ or CDQ halibut or IFQ or CDQ sablefish in the BSAI, a vessel operator must:
(i) Retain IFQ or CDQ halibut caught in pot gear if sufficient halibut IFQ or CDQ is held by persons on board the vessel; and
(ii) Comply with other requirements in this section.
A vessel operator who fishes for IFQ or CDQ halibut or IFQ or CDQ sablefish using pot gear must retain IFQ or CDQ halibut if:
(i) The IFQ or CDQ halibut is caught in any IFQ regulatory area in the BSAI; and
(ii) An IFQ or CDQ permit holder on board the vessel has unused halibut IFQ or CDQ for the IFQ regulatory area fished and IFQ vessel category.
A vessel operator who fishes for IFQ or CDQ halibut or IFQ or CDQ sablefish using pot gear in the BSAI must:
(i) Complete a longline and pot gear Daily Fishing Logbook (DFL) or Daily Cumulative Production Logbook (DCPL) as specified in §679.5(c);
(ii) Possess a transmitting VMS transmitter and comply with the VMS requirements at
§679.28(f)(3), (f)(4), and (f)(5); and
(iii) Report pot gear information required when submitting a PNOL as described in §679.5.