NMFS Adjusts the 2012 Atka Mackerel Total Allowable Catch Amounts in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands

January 01, 2012 - 12:01 a.m.

Notice of a fishery management action.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is adjusting the 2012 total allowable catch (TAC) amounts for Atka mackerel in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI), effective through 12 midnight, Alaska local time, December 31, 2011, according to James W. Balsiger, Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS.

NMFS is increasing the Atka mackerel TAC from 36,800 metric tons (mt) to 38,500 mt in the Eastern Aleutian Island District and Bering Sea subarea and from 10,293 mt to 10,763 mt in the Central Aleutian District. The TAC of 1,500 mt remains the same in the Western Aleutian District. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined that the current 2012 Atka mackerel TACs for the BSAI are incorrectly specified.

The current TACs are lower than the appropriate TACs derived from the latest stock assessment information. The 2012 TACs are scheduled to be updated in late February 2012, based on the latest stock assessments. The first seasonal apportionments can be harvested quickly, and must reflect the TACs based on the best available scientific information to provide the opportunity to harvest available TACs in a manner consistent with the established Steller sea lion protection measures. NMFS must therefore adjust the TACs and seasonal apportionments thereof prior to the effective date of the updated harvest specifications to allow the A season TACs to be fully harvested. The Steller sea lion protection measures at 50 CFR 679.20 require the seasonal apportionment of the annual TACs to reduce the potential for competition for prey species between Steller sea lions and the Atka mackerel fisheries.

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 February 11, 2019