The Council reviewed a discussion paper on whether to allow Community Quota Entities (CQEs) in Area 3A to fish D-class halibut IFQ on C-class vessels. Current regulations that restrict CQE ability to fish “D” class quota on “C” class vessels have, in some circumstances, limited the CQE community’s access to fish CQE halibut, particularly in Area 3A. The discussion paper provided an overview of current vessel size restrictions for CQEs across regulatory areas, the original intent of D-class quota shares under the IFQ and CQE programs, CQE participation in Area 3A, and an initial look at potential impacts of the proposed action. After reviewing the document and hearing public testimony, the Council developed a Purpose and Need Statement and alternatives to be analyzed for initial review (available on the Council’s website under Agenda Item D1). The alternatives include options to allow CQE communities to fish “D” class quota on “C” class vessels only after specified dates, as well as options to limit the number of years CQEs could participate in this opportunity. The action is intended as a fallback mechanism for CQEs that have unfished D-class quota late in the season to potentially avoid revenue loss, furthering the Council’s intent of encouraging CQE communities to secure long-term opportunities to access halibut. Staff contact is Sara Cleaver.