The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is decreasing the 2008 total allowable catch (TAC) amount for Pacific cod in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), effective 12 noon, Alaska local time, January 4, 2008, according to James W. Balsiger, Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS.
NMFS is decreasing the Pacific cod TAC in the GOA from 54,194 metric tons (mt) to 50,269 mt.
This action is necessary because NMFS has determined that the current 2008 Pacific cod TAC for the GOA is incorrectly specified. This TAC is higher than the appropriate TAC derived from the latest stock assessment information. The 2008 TACs are scheduled to be updated in late February 2008, based on the latest stock assessments. However, the Pacific cod fishery is likely to harvest the entire A season apportionment before the updated harvest specifications are effective. NMFS must therefore decrease the TAC and seasonal apportionments thereof 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 Pacific cod fishery. 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 regulatory change. For the purposes of complying with the regulatory change, you are advised to see the actual text in the Code of Federal Regulations.