RIR and FRFA of a Provision Exempting Certain Custom Processing from Use Caps on Processor Shares for a Regulatory Amendment to Implement Amendment 27 to the FMP for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs
Analysis of a provision exempting certain custom processing from use caps on processor shares for a regulatory amendment to implement Amendment 27 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs.
In August of 2005, fishing in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Island crab fisheries began under a new share-based management program (the “rationalization program”). The program is unique in several ways, including the allocation of processing shares corresponding to a portion of the harvest share pool. Under the program, 90 percent of the annual harvest share allocation is issued as “Class A” individual fishing quota (IFQ), which must be delivered in a designated region and may only be delivered to a processor holding unused individual processing quota (IPQ). The recent reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Act (MSA) included a provision to exempt custom processing in the North region of the Bering Sea C. opilio fishery from processing use caps established under the crab rationalization program. This document analyzes that exemption and the interpretation of the MSA language, as well as options to extend the exemption to the following other fisheries:
- Western Aleutian Islands golden king crab fishery
- Western Aleutian Islands red king crab fishery
- Eastern Aleutian Islands golden king crab fishery
- St. Matthews blue king crab fishery
- Pribilof red and blue king crab fishery