DIRECTED FISHING CLOSURES FOR PACIFIC COD
Effective at 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), June 10, 2001, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will implement an emergency rule that prohibits directed fishing for Pacific cod in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) by all vessels and in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) by specified vessels, according to James W. Balsiger, Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS. This prohibition will remain in effect until July 17, 2001, at which time NMFS intends to implement management measures to supersede this action.
This prohibition applies to all vessels directed fishing for Pacific cod in the GOA. In the BSAI, the prohibition on directed fishing for Pacific cod applies to vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet length overall (LOA) using hook-and- line or pot gear. Vessels fishing for BSAI Pacific cod that use trawl or jig gear, are less than 60 feet LOA using hook- and-line or pot gear, or are participating in the Community Development Quota (CDQ) program are not affected by this prohibition.
STELLER SEA LION PROTECTION AREAS
NMFS also reminds fishermen that effective 1200 hours, A.l.t., on June 10, 2001, specified Steller sea lion protection areas will be closed to directed fishing for pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel. Except for the 3 nm no transit zones around the BSAI Steller sea lion rookeries (see Table 21 to 50 CFR part 679.21, columns 1, 2, 7, and 8), these area closures do not apply to directed fishing for Pacific cod in the BSAI by vessels using jig gear and by vessels less than 60 feet length overall using hook-and-line or pot gear. Fishermen are advised to refer to an emergency interim rule that was published on March 29, 2001 (66 FR 17083), for more information on these exemptions.
The directed fisheries for GOA pollock, GOA Pacific cod, Aleutian Islands pollock, and BSAI and GOA Atka mackerel have been closed under separate action and will remain closed through July 17, 2001. As a result, the June 10 area closures only will affect the directed fisheries for Bering sea pollock, BSAI Pacific cod by vessels using trawl gear, and BSAI Pacific cod by vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft LOA and participating in the CDQ program. These closed areas will remain in effect through July 17, 2001, at which time NMFS intends to implement alternative Steller sea lion protection measures for the rest of 2001. The closed areas in the BSAI include:
- Area 8 and Area 9 and all associated sites, including sites around St. Lawrence, St. Paul, and St. George Islands (see 50 CFR . 679.22(a)(11)(v)(A)(2) and (3), 50 CFR . 679.22(a)(11)(v)(B), and Table 21 to 50 CFR part 679, columns 1, 2, 15, and 16);
- All associated sites in Area 13, (see 50 CFR . 679.22(a)(12)(v)(A)(2), 50 CFR . 679.22(a)(12)(v)(B), and Table 21 to 50 CFR part 679, columns 1, 2, 15, and 16); and
- Zero to three nautical miles around selected sites (see 50 CFR . 679.22(a)(11)(v)(C), 50 CFR . 679.22(a)(12)(v)(C), and Table 21 to 50 CFR part 679, columns 1, 2, 14, and 16).
Fishermen are advised to refer to the emergency interim rule that was published on January 22, 2001 (66 FR 7276), and the correction that was published on March 20, 2001 (66 FR 15656), for further details on these area closures. The corrected version of Table 21 can be found in the correction published on March 20. Please note that the regulations applicable to columns 10, 11, 12, and 13 of Table 21 will expire on June 10.
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