As of 00:01 hr local time on May 14, 2023, through December 31, 2023, no one may attempt or do any of the following: Fish for, possess, transfer, purchase, receive, land, or sell more than 2,000 lb of herring per trip or more than once per calendar day in or from Area 3 (Figure 1).
Vessels that have entered port before 00:01 hr local time on May 14, 2023, may land and sell more than 2,000 lb of herring from Management Area 3 from that trip, provided that catch is landed in accordance with state management measures. While this possession limit is in place, vessels may transit or land in Area 3 with more than 2,000 lb of herring on board, provided that: The herring were caught in an area not subject to a 2,000-lb limit, all fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use, and the vessel is issued a permit appropriate to the amount of herring on board and the area where the herring was harvested.
Also effective 00:01 hr local time on May 14, 2023, federally permitted dealers may not attempt or do any of the following: Purchase, receive, possess, have custody or control of, sell, barter, trade, or transfer more than 2,000 lb of herring per trip or calendar day from Area 3, unless it is from a vessel that enters port before 00:01 hr local time on May 14, 2023, and catch is landed in accordance with state management measures.
The herring fishery began operating under default 2023 fishery specifications on January 1, 2023. On January 13, 2023, NOAA Fisheries implemented a 2,000-lb possession limit for herring in Area 3 because we estimated the fleet had caught 98 percent of the default Area 3 sub-ACL. On March 23, 2023, NOAA Fisheries published an interim final rule that replaced the default 2023 herring fishery specifications with updated 2023 specifications. This action also removed the 2,000-lb possession limit that was previously implemented in Area 3 because, relative to the updated Area 3 sub-ACL, catch from Area 3 no longer hit the threshold required to implement this possession limit adjustment. This inseason action implements a new 2,000-lb possession limit in Area 3 because catch relative to the updated 2023 Area 3 sub-ACL now hits the threshold required to implement this possession limit adjustment.
Figure 1. Map of Herring Management Areas Highlighting Area 3.
This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.