EA/RIR/FRFA for Amendment 45 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area: Permanent Extension of the Allocation of Pollock to the Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program
Section 111(a) of the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 added a new provision to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act providing specific statutory authority for the CDQ programs for pollock, sablefish, halibut, groundfish, and crab, already approved by the North Pacific Council and the Secretary of Commerce.
Section 305(i)(1) requires that the Council and Secretary establish a Western Alaska CDQ program that allocates a percentage of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) of any Bering Sea fishery. It imposes a moratorium until October 1, 2001, on submission to the Secretary of any CDQ program allocating a percentage of TAC that was not approved by the Council before October 1, 1995, and allows an extension of CDQ programs that expire during the period of the moratorium if they meet the other requirements of the section. It also provides that, for pending CDQ programs and proposed extensions of current programs, the Secretary cannot increase the percentage of TAC allocated to any CDQ program over the amount the Council approved as of October 1, 1995.