The Council reviewed a discussion paper that examined participation and effort in the Bering Sea trawl catcher vessel Pacific cod fishery, in response to a potential need to limit entry and participation in the trawl catcher vessel sector and the sector’s delivery of Bering Sea Pacific cod to Amendment 80 catcher/processor vessels acting as motherships. After reviewing the discussion paper, the Council adopted a purpose and need statement and initiated an analysis. The Council is concerned about the recent increases and potential future growth in offshore deliveries of Pacific cod to Amendment 80 vessels or other vessels operating as motherships, and the impacts on shoreside processors, communities, and participating catcher vessels. The Council is also concerned about the high level of latency for the AFA trawl catcher vessel fleet, and the shortening duration of the BSAI trawl catcher vessel Pacific cod fishery, which makes it more difficult to maximize the value of the fishery and is negatively impacting fishery participants.
To address these concerns, the Council has proposed an alternative that would limit Amendment 80 and non-Amendment 80 catcher/processors from acting as a mothership to receive BSAI non-CDQ Pacific cod deliveries from trawl catcher vessels unless they have a recent history of such activity, and an alternative that would limit the amount of the BSAI non-CDQ Pacific cod trawl catcher vessel allocation that can be delivered to Amendment 80 catcher/processors. The Council also included a control date of December 31, 2017 that may be used as a reference date for a future management action to limit catcher/processor vessels acting as motherships in the BSAI trawl catcher vessel Pacific cod fishery.
To address the concerns of vessel latency in the BSAI trawl catcher vessel Pacific cod fishery, the Council has proposed an alternative that would prohibit the use of any License Limitation Program licenses in the BSAI trawl cod fishery unless they have been attributed a directed BSAI trawl Pacific cod landing within a set time period. Staff contact is Jon McCracken.