National Marine Fisheries Service is seeking comments through April 28 on a proposed revision of regulations for commercial individual fishing quota (IFQ) Pacific halibut fisheries for the 2021 IFQ fishing year.
The proposed rule would remove limits on the maximum number of halibut IFQ that may be harvested by a vessel in IFQ regulatory areas 4A (Eastern Aleutian Islands), 4B (Central and Western Aleutian Islands), 4C (Central Bering Sea) and 4D (Eastern Bering Sea). NMFS said this action is needed to provide additional flexibility to IFQ participants in 2021 to ensure allocations of halibut IFQ can be harvested by the limited number of vessels operating in these areas.
Such action is within the authority of the Secretary of Commerce to establish additional regulations governing the taking of halibut which are in addition to and not in conflict with, those adopted by International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC).
Comments should be identified by FDMS Docket Number NOAA-NMFS-2021-0032 and may be submitted via electronic submission or the U.S. mail.
The IPHC and NMFS manage the halibut fisheries through regulations established under the authority of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982.
For electronic submissions, go to https://www.regulations.gov and enter NOAA-NMFS-2021-0032 in the search box. Click on the “comment” icon, complete required fields and enter comments. Mailed comments should be sent to Glenn Merrill, assistant regional administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Susan Meyer, at P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.
All comments received become part of the public record and will be posted online at http://www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (such as name and address) confidential business information or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. Those wishing to remain anonymous should enter N/A in the required fields when submitting comments.