The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is decreasing the 2008 total allowable catch amount (TAC) for pollock in the Bering Sea subarea, effective 12 noon, Alaska local time, January 1, 2008, according to James W. Balsiger, Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS.
NMFS is decreasing the pollock TAC in the Bering Sea subarea from 1,318,000 metric tons (mt) to 1,000,000 mt.
This action is necessary because NMFS has determined that the current 2008 pollock TAC for the Bering Sea subarea 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 pollock fishery is likely to harvest the entire A season apportionment before the updated harvest specifications are effective. NMFS must therefore lower the TAC and seasonal apportionments thereof prior to the effective date of 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 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.