The Council took final action to modify the medical transfer and designated beneficiary transfer provisions of the halibut and sablefish IFQ program.
The recommended regulatory changes to IFQ transfer provisions are identical to those selected as a preliminary final determination of the preferred alternative at the Council’s February 2019 meeting. Proposed changes to the medical transfer provision included redefining a certified medical professional that may sign a medical transfer form. The proposed definition is broader than what is currently in regulation and includes health care providers that are authorized to practice medicine within their specialty by the state or country in which he or she practices. The new definition also allows a health care provider outside of the U.S. to sign a medical transfer form if he or she is operating within the medical specialty the provider is licensed to preform by their country. A second change would limit the number of times a QS holder could use the medical transfer provision to 3 of the 7 most recent years for any medical condition that prevents the QS holder from fishing that calendar year. This differs from the current regulations that limit use of the medical transfer to 2 of the 5 most recent years for the same medical condition.
The two changes to the designated beneficiary transfer provision that were selected as a preferred alternative were also part of the Council’s February 2019 preliminary final determination. The first would add “estate” to the list of persons who could hold QS for up to three years after the death of the QS holder. The second would define an immediate family member at 50 CFR 679 using the U.S. Office of Personnel Management definition.
Staff contact is Sam Cunningham.