Analysis of the Final Rule to Prohibit the Use of Hired Masters for Sablefish Catcher Vessel Quota Shares Received by Transfer after February 12, 2010
Prohibited use of hired masters to harvest Individual Fishing Quota derived from sablefish catcher vessel quota received by transfer after February 12, 2010: Consistency of the Final Rule With National Standards 9 and 10 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act
This analysis was prepared in response to a January 13, 2016, order from the United States District Court, Western District of Washington, regarding a 2014 final rule issued by NOAA Fisheries (Fairweather Fish, Inc. et al. vs. Pritzker et al., Case No. 3:14-cv-05685-BHS). NOAA Fisheries published the final rule (Final Rule) to prohibit initial Quota recipients from using a hired master to harvest Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) derived from sablefish catcher vessel Quota received by transfer after February 12, 2010 (NOAA Fisheries 2014). The Final Rule is intended to promote a fishery management objective identified by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council). The Council recommended the Final Rule to maintain progress toward predominantly owner-onboard halibut and sablefish fisheries.
NOAA Fisheries has determined that the Final Rule is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) National Standards 9 (minimize bycatch and bycatch mortality) and 10 (promote safety at sea). While the Final Rule is expected to have economic impacts on some Quota holders as described in the administrative record associated with this action, the Final Rule is not expected to increase bycatch or bycatch mortality in the sablefish IFQ fishery overall or reduce the safety of human life at sea for persons participating on board a vessel in the sablefish IFQ fishery. This analysis describes the factors NOAA Fisheries considered in determining that the Final Rule is consistent with National Standards 9 and 10. This analysis is a compilation of information and data that were publicly available at the time the Final Rule was published on July 28, 2014, with a limited number of exceptions as described. This analysis considers documents outside the existing administrative record for Fairweather Fish, Inc. et al. vs. Pritzker et al.