The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is revising the 2024 total allowable catch (TAC) amounts for pollock and Pacific cod in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), effective 0001 hours, Alaska local time, January 1, 2024, according to Jonathan M. Kurland, Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS.
NMFS is increasing the pollock TAC from 168,416 metric tons (mt) to 195,720 mt. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined that the current 2024 pollock TAC for the GOA is incorrectly specified. The TAC currently specified for 2024 is different than the associated TAC derived from the latest stock assessment information.
NMFS is increasing the Pacific cod TAC from 16,668 mt to 23,766 mt. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined that the current 2024 Pacific cod TAC for the GOA is incorrectly specified. The TAC currently specified for 2024 is different than the associated TAC derived from the latest stock assessment information.
The 2024 TAC is scheduled to be updated in late February 2024, 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 increase the pollock TAC and decrease 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.