IB 20-91: NMFS Revises the 2021 Pollock and Pacific cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts in the Gulf of Alaska

December 23, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.

Notice of a fishery management action

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is revising the 2021 total allowable catch (TAC) amounts for pollock and Pacific cod in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), effective 12 noon, Alaska local time, January 1, 2021, according to James W. Balsiger, Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS.

NMFS is decreasing the pollock TAC from 119,239 metric tons (mt) to 113,227 mt. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined that the current 2021 pollock TAC for the GOA is incorrectly specified. The TAC currently specified for 2021 is different than the associated TAC derived from the latest stock assessment information. 

NMFS is increasing the Pacific cod TAC from 6,431 mt to 17,321 mt. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined that the current 2021 Pacific cod TAC for the GOA is incorrectly specified. The TAC currently specified for 2021 is different than the associated TAC derived from the latest stock assessment information.

The 2021 TAC is scheduled to be updated in late February 2021, based on the latest stock assessment. However, the pollock and Pacific cod fisheries are likely to harvest the entire A season apportionments before the updated harvest specifications are effective. NMFS must therefore decrease the pollock TAC and increase the Pacific cod TAC, as well as associated seasonal apportionments, prior to the updated harvest specifications. The Steller sea lion protection measures at 50 CFR 679.20 require the seasonal apportionment of the annual TAC to reduce the potential for competition for prey species between Steller sea lions and the pollock and Pacific cod fisheries. The seasonal apportionment is necessary to prevent the likelihood of the groundfish fisheries causing jeopardy of extinction or adverse modification of critical habitat for Steller sea lions. 

This information bulletin only provides notice of a fishery management action. For the purposes of complying with any requirements of this action, you are advised to see the actual text of the action in the Federal Register.

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on December 23, 2020