The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is increasing the 2011 total allowable catch (TAC) amount for Pacific cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI), effective 12 noon, Alaska local time, December 31, 2010, according to James W. Balsiger, Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS.
NMFS is increasing the Pacific cod TAC in the BSAI from 207,580 metric tons (mt) to 227,950 mt. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined that the current 2011 Pacific cod TAC for the BSAI is incorrectly specified.
This current TAC is lower than the appropriate TAC derived from the latest stock assessment information. The 2011 TACs are scheduled to be updated in late February 2011, based on the latest stock assessments. The first seasonal apportionment can be harvested quickly, and must reflect the TAC based on the best available scientific information to provide the opportunity to harvest available TAC in a manner consistent with the established Steller sea lion protection measures. NMFS must therefore increase the TAC and seasonal apportionments thereof prior to the effective date of the updated harvest specifications to allow the A season TAC to be fully harvested. 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.
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.