NOAA Fisheries announces the publication of the proposed rule for the 2018 Pacific halibut Catch Sharing Plan and annual management measures for Area 2A off Washington, Oregon, and California.
Additionally, this proposed rule anticipated that the International Pacific Halibut Commission would determine catch limits for Area 2A at its annual meeting on January 22-26, 2018. However, IPHC did not agree upon 2018 Pacific halibut catch limits at its annual meeting, and any new limits will be implemented through the domestic regulatory process. IPHC annual meeting documents, including stock assessment and harvest decision tables, are available. NOAA Fisheries invites the public to also submit comments on catch limit changes for 2018 under this proposed rule.
Comments on the proposed changes to the Plan and the codified regulations, and proposed domestic Area 2A Pacific halibut management measures must be received by March 1, 2018. NOAA Fisheries will consider any comments relating to the catch limits for Area 2A under any rule NOAA Fisheries may promulgate related to catch limits for the 2018 United States halibut fisheries, or otherwise as appropriate.