Regulations at 50 CFR 660.131 (h) provide for the reapportionment of Pacific whiting tribal allocations that the Regional Administrator determines will not be used by the end of the fishing year.
The best available information in early September 2018 indicates that at least 40,000 metric tons (mt) of the tribal allocation of 77,251 mt for the 2018 tribal Pacific whiting fishery will not be used by December 31, 2018. Reapportioning this amount to the non-tribal fishery is expected to allow for greater attainment of the Total Allowable Catch. In addition, recent conversations between NOAA Fisheries and tribal fishery managers indicate that reapportioning 40,000 mt, leaving a tribal allocation of 37,251 mt, will not limit tribal harvest opportunities for the remainder of the year. Therefore, NOAA Fisheries is taking action at this time to reapportion 40,000 mt of Pacific whiting.
Such reapportionments are disbursed to the other Pacific whiting fishery sectors in the same proportion as each sector's allotted portion of the fishery harvest guideline as specified in the regulations. All nontribal commercial sectors have expressed an interest in this potential for additional 2018 harvest of Pacific whiting. Whiting quota pounds will be allocated to non-tribal commercial sector quota share accounts as soon as feasible.
Effective 1200 Noon, local time, on September 24, 2018, 40,000 mt of Pacific whiting are reallocated from the tribal allocation to the non-tribal commercial Pacific whiting fishery. The revised Pacific whiting allocations by sector for 2018 are listed below:
- Tribal: 37,251 mt
- Catcher/processor: 136,912 mt
- Mothership: 96,644 mt
- Shorebased: 169,127 mt
This communication serves as official notice of the reapportionment.