IB 20-92: NMFS Opens Directed Fishing for Pacific Cod by Various Sectors in the Gulf of Alaska

December 23, 2020 - 4:00 p.m.

Notice of a fishery management action

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by various sectors in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) at 0001 hours, Alaska local time, January 1, 2021, according to James W. Balsiger, Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS.

NMFS closed directed fishing for Pacific cod in the GOA under § 679.20(d)(1)(iii) in the final 2020 and 2021 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (85 FR 13802, March 10, 2020). As of December 23, 2020, NMFS has determined that 5,590 metric tons (mt) in the Western Regulatory Area and 10,242 mt in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA of Pacific cod total allowable catch is available in 2021. This is based on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) December 2020 recommendation for the 2021 Pacific cod TACs. NMFS issued an inseason adjustment to adjust the 2021 Pacific cod TAC to reflect the Council’s recommendations (85 FR 83834, December 23, 2020).

Therefore, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the 2021 Pacific cod TAC in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA, NMFS is terminating the previous closures and is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using jig gear, vessels using pot gear, and catcher/processors (CP) using hook-and-line gear.

Additionally, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the 2021 Pacific cod TAC in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA, NMFS is terminating the previous closures and is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using jig gear, vessels using pot gear, catcher vessels less than 50 feet length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line gear, catch vessels greater than or equal to 50 feet LOA using hook-and-line gear, and CPs using hook-and-line gear.

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