NMFS Clarifies Pollock CDQ Catch Accounting Requirements

June 09, 1999 - 11:15 a.m.

Notice of a fishery management action.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) clarifies catch accounting requirements implemented under an emergency interim rule (64 FR 3877, January 26, 1999) for pollock harvested under the CDQ Program, according to Steven Pennoyer, Administrator, Alaska Region.

The American Fisheries Act (AFA) requires that only pollock caught while directed fishing for CDQ pollock accrue against the pollock CDQ allocation. Pollock caught incidentally in other groundfish CDQ fisheries accrue to the pollock incidental catch allowance. The emergency interim rule defined directed fishing for pollock CDQ as a haul by a catcher/processor or a delivery by a catcher vessel in which pollock represents 40 percent or more by weight of the total groundfish catch in the haul or delivery. The emergency interim rule also implemented the requirement that the CDQ group report on the CDQ catch report only pollock from hauls or deliveries that meet the requirements for directed fishing for pollock CDQ.

Pollock that accrue against the pollock incidental catch allowance or pollock harvested by vessels using other than trawl gear should not be reported on the CDQ catch report. Any pollock reported on the CDQ catch report will be subtracted from the CDQ group's pollock CDQ allocation. NMFS will use observer data to estimate the amount of pollock caught while CDQ fishing that should be subtracted from the pollock incidental catch allowance. Therefore, CDQ groups are not required to report the incidental catch of pollock to NMFS on the CDQ catch report. This method of handling pollock catch accounting in 1999 is necessary because NMFS did not have sufficient time between implementation of the AFA on October 20, 1998, and the start of the pollock fisheries in January 1999 to revise CDQ catch accounting computer programs to accommodate changes made in the emergency interim rule.

CDQ groups are reminded that all pollock caught in a haul by a catcher/processor or a delivery by a catcher vessel should continue to be used to determine the appropriate target fishery for purposes of assigning a halibut bycatch mortality rate and accurately reporting halibut bycatch mortality on the CDQ catch report.

Vessel and processor logbooks and weekly production reports (WPRs) should continue to report all pollock catch and production while CDQ fishing, regardless of whether the catch accrues against the pollock CDQ allocation or the incidental catch allowance. NMFS does not use the logbooks or WPRs as a primary source of data for CDQ catch accounting, so separating pollock into the two different catch accounting categories is not necessary on these reports.

NMFS also clarifies management of the pollock CDQ in the Aleutian Islands (AI) subarea. Under the final 1999 groundfish harvest specifications for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands area (64 FR 12103, March 11, 1999), the AI pollock total allowable catch is 2,000 mt and the AI pollock CDQ reserve is 200 mt. NMFS will subtract from the AI pollock CDQ allocations any pollock caught in a haul or delivery that meets the definition of directed fishing for pollock CDQ. However, NMFS does not consider infrequent hauls in which pollock represents 40% or more of the total groundfish catch to be a violation of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council's recommendation that no directed fishing for pollock be allowed in the AI in 1999.

This information bulletin provides information about NMFS's pollock CDQ reporting requirements for 1999. For further information, contact the Sustainable Fisheries Division at (907) 586-7228.

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on February 11, 2019