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Reapportionment of Tribal Pacific Whiting Allocation for 2023

January 09, 2024

Reapportioning of 45,000 mt of Pacific whiting from the tribal allocation to the non-tribal commercial Pacific whiting fishery, effective September 28, 2023

Regulations at 50 CFR 660.131 (h) provide for the reapportionment of Pacific whiting tribal allocations that the Regional Administrator determines will not be used by the end of the fishing year.

The best available information in late September 2023 indicates that at least 45,000 metric tons (mt) of the tribal allocation of 80,806 mt for the 2023 tribal Pacific whiting fishery will not be used by December 31, 2023. Reapportioning this amount to the non-tribal fishery is expected to allow for greater attainment of the U.S. Total Allowable Catch. In addition, recent conversations between the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and tribal fishery managers indicate that reapportioning 45,000 mt, leaving a tribal allocation of 35,806 mt, will not limit tribal harvest opportunities for the remainder of the year.

As required under the 2017 Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7(a)(2) biological opinion on the effects of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan on listed salmonids, NMFS considered the number and bycatch rate of Chinook salmon taken in the Pacific whiting fishery.  Based on the best available information in late September 2023, NMFS determined there is low risk that the reapportionment will cause the Pacific whiting sector fisheries to exceed both the guideline limit of 11,000 and reserve of 3,500 Chinook salmon under current regulations and practices.  At the time of this notice, incidental take of Chinook salmon by the non-tribal sector is 37% of the guideline limit. NMFS will continue to monitor Chinook salmon bycatch as part of inseason management. 

NMFS is taking action at this time to reapportion 45,000 mt of Pacific whiting. Such reapportionments are disbursed to the other Pacific whiting fishery sectors in the same proportion as each sector's allotted portion of the fishery harvest guideline specified in the regulations. All non-tribal commercial sectors have expressed an interest in this potential for additional 2023 harvest of Pacific whiting. In the shorebased IFQ program, whiting quota pounds will be allocated to quota share accounts as soon as feasible.

Effective 1:30pm (13:30) PST, on September 28, 2023, 45,000 mt of Pacific whiting are reapportioned from the tribal allocation to the non-tribal commercial Pacific whiting fishery. The revised Pacific whiting allocations by sector for 2023 are listed below:


Allocation (share)

Reapportionment (mt)

Revised 2023 Sector Allocations (mt)

C/P Coop Program




MS Coop Program




Shorebased IFQ Program




Total reapportioned





The initial 2023 whiting allocations are detailed in the May 31, 2023, Final Rule for 2023 Harvest Specifications for Pacific Whiting, and 2023 Tribal allocation (88 FR 34783).


Contact Colin Sayre, Pacific Whiting Treaty Coordinator, at colin.sayre@noaa.gov or (206) 526-4656

Last updated by West Coast Regional Office on January 09, 2024