Federal Council Action Puts Harvest Limits
on AFA Replacement Vessels

fisheries officials have approved allowing American Fisheries Act vessel owners
to rebuild or replace their vessels, but sideboard exemptions will be
extinguished and not transferrable for any AFA vessels removed from the fleet.

the 2010 Coast Guard Act allows rebuilding or replacement of these vessels, the
final action of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council during its April
meeting in Anchorage restricts vessels in varying degrees on their ability to
fish outside of the Bering Sea.

measure now goes to the Commerce Department for approval.

measure allows AFA vessel owners to participate in Gulf of Alaska fisheries
with a replacement or rebuilt vessel as long as the replacement or rebuilt
vessel does not exceed the maximum length overall specified on the Gulf of Alaska
license limitation program groundfish license assigned to the vessel at the
time of fishing in the Gulf of Alaska by the vessel. If an AFA vessel owner
removes an AFA vessel that is exempt from sideboard limitations, the sideboard
exemption is extinguished and the exemption cannot be transferred to another

status quo alternative was selected by the council during its February meeting
as a preliminary preferred alternative.

AFA rebuilt or replacement vessel would be subject to no limitations on length,
size or horsepower while participating in Bering Sea/Aleutian Island fisheries.
An AFA replacement vessel will be eligible to participate in Bering
Sea/Aleutian Island fisheries in the same manner as the replaced vessel and
will receive the same licenses and permits that the replaced vessel held. If
the replaced vessel was exempt from sideboard limitations, the replacement
vessel will be exempt in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands. If the replaced
vessel was subject to sideboard limitations, the replacement vessel will be
subject to the same limitations in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands.

AFA replacement vessel is, however, subject to a limitation on its
participation outside of the North Pacific.

total, there are 118 catcher vessels, 21 catcher processors, and three
motherships that would be directly impacted by this measure, council staff