NMFS Revises the 2013 Pollock and Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts in the Gulf of Alaska

January 01, 2013 - 12:01 a.m.

Notice of a fishery management action.

Sustainable Fisheries

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is revising the 2013 total allowable catch (TAC) amounts for pollock and Pacific cod in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), effective 12 noon, Alaska local time, December 31, 2012, according to James W. Balsiger, Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS.

NMFS is decreasing the pollock TAC from 125,334 metric tons (mt) to 121,046 mt and decreasing the Pacific cod TAC from 68,250 mt to 60,600 mt in the GOA. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined that the current 2013 pollock and Pacific cod TACs for the GOA are incorrectly specified. The TACs currently specified for 2013 are different than the associated TACs derived from the latest stock assessment information. In addition, as described in the proposed 2013 and 2014 harvest specifications for the GOA (December 5, 2012, 77 FR 72297), the final 2013 and 2014 Pacific cod sector allocations may be adjusted to incorporate an increased allocation to the jig sector.

The 2013 TACs are scheduled to be updated in late February 2013, based on the latest stock assessments. However, the pollock and Pacific cod fisheries are likely to harvest the entire A season apportionments before the updated harvest specifications are effective. NMFS must therefore decrease the pollock and Pacific cod TACs, as well as associated seasonal apportionments for both species, 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 pollock and Pacific cod fisheries. 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 fishery management action. For the purposes of complying with any requirements of this action, you are advised to see the actual text of the action in the Federal Register.

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on February 11, 2019