NPFMC Approves Mothership Restrictions in BSAI, GOA

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has adopted catcher processor mothership restrictions for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) and Gulf of Alaska when taking delivery of non-community development quota Pacific cod from trawl catcher vessels.

Alternatives adopted by the council on April 4 in Anchorage, Alaska, allow catcher/processors to take delivery of P-cod from catcher vessels in the BSAI no-CDQ P-cod trawl fishery only if the catcher processor acted as a mothership and received targeted Pacific cod deliveries under certain circumstances. Options include being from Amendment 80 catcher/processors and non-Amendment 80 catcher/processors that acted as motherships in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The council ruling also prohibits from receiving P-cod harvested in the Pacific cod directed fisheries in the BSAI and Gulf of Alaska all Amendment 80 vessels not designated on Amendment 80 quota share permits and amendment 80 LLP licenses, or Amendment 80 LLP/quota share licenses.

Also, during the spring meeting, the council took final action on a motion to require full retention of rockfish species by all fixed gear catcher vessels even if the species is on prohibited species status and prohibits these retained rockfish from being sold.

Current regulations for demersal shelf rockfish retention in Southeast outside District of the Gulf of Alaska remain unchanged by this action.