The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has issued emergency interim regulations effective January 21, 2000 to implement major provisions of the AFA according to Steven Pennoyer, Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS. The elements of this emergency interim rule include:
- a new formula to allocate the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) pollock total allowable catch (TAC) among the Western Alaska Community Development Quota program and the inshore, catcher/processor, and mothership industry sectors;
- new recordkeeping and reporting requirements for the BSAI pollock fishery and for processors that receive groundfish from AFA catcher vessels;
- new observer coverage and scale requirements for AFA catcher/processors, AFA motherships, and AFA inshore processors;
- new regulations to govern BSAI pollock fishery cooperatives formed under the AFA;
- harvesting restrictions on AFA catcher vessels and AFA catcher/processors to limit effort by such vessels in other groundfish and crab fisheries;
- crab processing restrictions on AFA motherships and AFA inshore processors that receive pollock harvested by a cooperative in a BSAI directed pollock fishery, an excessive share harvesting cap that prohibits any single entity from harvesting more than 17.5 percent of the BSAI pollock TAC, and revised interim groundfish harvest specifications for the BSAI and GOA.
This emergency action also establishes interim 2000 harvest sideboard amounts for AFA catcher/processors and AFA catcher vessels, and issues sideboard directed fishing closures for AFA catcher/processor and AFA catcher vessels in various fisheries. This emergency action is necessary to provide inshore pollock cooperatives with allocations of pollock for the 2000 fishing year as required by the AFA. This emergency action also is necessary to implement sideboard restrictions to protect participants in other Alaska fisheries from negative impacts as a result of fishery cooperatives formed under the AFA.
The text of the emergency interim rule as filed for public inspection by the Office of the Federal Register is available on the NMFS Alaska Region home page.
This bulletin is for informational purposes only. Do not rely on it to guide you in compliance with the upcoming regulatory changes.