NMFS Adjusts BSAI TAC, Seeks Comments by Jan. 25

The National Marine Fisheries Service has announced a temporary rule to adjust the 2017 total allowable catch amounts for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod fisheries.

NMFS published the temporary rule in the Federal Register on Jan. 10, saying the action was necessary because NMFS determined that these TACs are incorrectly specified, and its action will ensure the BSAI Pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod TACs are the appropriate amounts based on the best available scientific information.

NMFS also announced that the Aleutian Islands catcher vessel harvest set-aside and Bering Sea trawl catcher vessel A-season sector limitation would not be in effect for 2017, and that TACs in this inseason adjustment will apply for 2017. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, NMFS said.

NMFS is accepting comments electronically and by mail on its decision until Jan. 25.

Electronic submissions should be sent to the federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0118, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete required fields, and enter or attach your comments. Direct written comments to Glenn Merrill, assistant regional administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian, at P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668

All comments received are part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing at www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information, confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. Enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous.