At this meeting, the Council took final action to adopt a preferred alternative (Alternative 2) that would prohibit all Federal vessels from fishing for Pacific cod in waters from shore to 3 miles in the BSAI without the proper permits and licenses. 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.
The Council’s preferred alternative would preclude hook-and-line, pot, and trawl gear vessels from participating in the BSAI Pacific cod parallel fisheries unless they have a License Limitation Program license with the correct license endorsements and a designated Federal Fisheries Permit. The preferred alternative would also require the above Federally permitted or licensed vessels that fish in the parallel fishery to adhere to federal sector and seasonal BSAI Pacific cod closures and would restrict those vessels from surrendering and later reapplying for the FFP within a three-year time period. Jig vessels and those vessels that do not hold an FFP or an LLP license would not be affected by the preferred alternative and can continue to participate in the parallel fishery.
Implementation of the preferred alternative would ensure robust catch accounting while preventing all Federal vessels from circumventing the intent of previous Council decisions regarding license limitation and sector allocations when participating in the BSAI Pacific cod parallel fisheries. The alternative also recognizes that jig vessels, and new entrants who do not hold federal fishery permits, may participate in the parallel fishery.
Staff contact is Jon McCracken.