Draft Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Considerations for A Final Rule to Prohibit the Use of Hired Masters for Sablefish Catcher Vessel Quota Shares Received by Transfer after February 12, 2010

October 18, 2018

This document was prepared in response to a November 16, 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). The Final Rule prohibits initial quota share recipients from using a hired master to harvest individual fishing quota derived from catcher vessel quota share received by transfer after February 12, 2010. NOAA Fisheries has determined that the Final Rule is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act National Standards, subject to further consideration after public comment. This document describes the factors NOAA Fisheries considered in this determination.

This document was prepared in response to a November 16, 2016, order from the United States District Court, Western District of Washington, regarding a 2014 final rule (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 to prohibit initial quota share recipients from using a hired master to harvest individual fishing quota (IFQ) derived from sablefish and halibut catcher vessel quota share received by transfer after February 12, 2010 (NOAA Fisheries 2014a). 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 sablefish and halibut IFQ fisheries.

The Court remanded the Final Rule to NOAA Fisheries for further consideration of the National Standards in section 301(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). NOAA Fisheries completed this consideration after evaluating the information used to prepare the Final Rule, information presented to the United States District Court, and the best available information relevant to the impacts of the Final Rule. NOAA Fisheries has determined that the Final Rule is consistent with the National Standards as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act, subject to further consideration after public comment. This document describes the factors NOAA Fisheries considered in making this determination. This determination and the factors described herein are consistent with the information NOAA Fisheries presented to the United States District Court for Fairweather Fish, Inc. et al. vs. Pritzker et al.

Last updated by Alaska Fisheries Science Center on 10/23/2018

Alaska Groundfish Magnuson-Stevens Act