The Council, after reviewing a discussion paper that evaluated participation and effort in the Bering Sea Pacific cod catcher processor fishery, adopted a purpose and need statement (provided below) and initiated an analysis to eliminate latent capacity in the fishery in order to increase stability for Pacific cod dependent CPs, maintain consistently low rates of halibut and crab bycatch, and ensure that condensed fishing seasons do not result in safety-at-sea concerns.
The Council adopted the following purpose and need statement:
Amendment 85 assigned a portion of the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Pacific cod TAC to the pot CP sector with the primary goals of aligning Pacific cod allocations with actual dependency and use and providing stability to all sectors. Three major changes have occurred since the implementation of Amendment 85, which has resulted in less stability for the dependent vessels on which the Amendment 85 allocation was based:
- low crab TACS and consolidation within the crab fisheries has provided increased flexibility for pot CPs,
- the total allowable catch for Pacific cod in the BSAI has decreased over the last several years, and
- the availability of rollovers to the CP pot sector has declined.
The Council is considering action to eliminate latent capacity in the fishery, in order to increase stability for cod dependent pot CPs, maintain consistently low rates of halibut and crab bycatch, and ensure that condensed fishing seasons do not result in safety-at-sea concerns.
Under the proposed action, Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pacific cod endorsements on catcher processor pot License Limitation Program licenses would be removed unless the license is credited with a minimum directing landing of 1,000 mt in the management area based on two different year combinations. The Council also established a control date of October 8, 2019 for any action considering future participation in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pacific cod pot catcher processor sector.
Staff contact is Jon McCracken.