During staff tasking, the Council initiated an analysis to limit access to the BSAI parallel fishery for federal fishery participants. The intent of the proposed action is to limit the erosion of the sector allocations by precluding new entry of federally permitted, but non-LLP license holding vessel operators into the parallel fishery. The Council adopted the following purpose and need statement:
Currently, there are no limits on entry into the parallel waters groundfish fisheries, and no limits on the proportion of the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Pacific cod TAC that may be harvested in parallel waters. There is concern that harvest of Pacific cod in the parallel waters fishery by vessels that do not hold LLP licenses may continue to increase. The Council, in consideration of options and recommendations for the parallel fishery, will need to balance the objectives of providing stability to the long-term participants in the sectors, while recognizing that new entrants who do not hold Federal permits or licenses may participate in the parallel fishery.
Under the proposed action, vessels with a License Limitation Permit (LLP) or Federal Fishery Permit (FFP) would be precluded from participating in the BS or AI Pacific cod parallel fishery if they do not have the appropriate area, gear, and Pacific cod endorsement (required for fixed gear vessels). In addition, the proposed action would require Federally-permitted or licensed vessels that fish in the BS or AI parallel fishery to adhere to seasonal closures of the BS or AI Pacific cod sector. The proposed action would also preclude participating vessels from surrendering and reactivating the FFP on an unlimited basis, as is presently allowed. Once an FFP is relinquished, there would be a three-year waiting period before the FFP can be reissued to the vessel. The purpose of this restriction is to preclude federally permitted vessels from circumventing the LLP requirement in parallel waters by surrendering the FFP.
Finally, the Council clarified that the proposed restriction to the BS or AI Pacific cod parallel fishery would not apply to jig vessels.
Staff contact is Jon McCracken.
 The directed fisheries for Pacific cod in state waters (0 to 3 nm) that are open concurrently with the directed fisheries in federal waters (3 nm to 200 nm) are referred to as the parallel fishery and are prosecuted under virtually the same rules as the federal fisheries, with catch counted against the federal TAC. The parallel State waters fisheries are managed separately from the State waters Pacific cod fisheries.