The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is revising the 2019 total allowable catch (TAC) amount for pollock in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), effective 12 noon, Alaska local time, January 1, 2019, according to James W. Balsiger, Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS.
NMFS is increasing the pollock TAC from 112,678 metric tons (mt) to 141,227 mt. This action is necessary because NMFS has determined that the current 2019 pollock TAC for the GOA is incorrectly specified. The TAC currently specified for 2019 is different than the associated TAC derived from the latest stock assessment information.
The 2019 TAC is scheduled to be updated in late February 2019, based on the latest stock assessment. However, the pollock fishery is likely to harvest the entire A season apportionments before the updated harvest specifications are effective. NMFS must therefore increase the pollock TAC, as well as associated seasonal apportionments, 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 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 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.