The SSC reviewed a draft document on technical guidance for designing, evaluating and implementing carry-over and phase-in provisions associated with annual catch limits, and provided comments to the Council. The document was prepared in conjunction with the NMFS revisions to NS1 guidelines.
Carry-over and phase-in provisions are intended to provide additional flexibility within existing catch limits. The SSC noted that carry-over catch provisions could disrupt the NPFMC’s approach to TAC-setting in particular in the BSAI where the 2 million ton OY cap is constraining. It was also noted that the frequency of North Pacific assessment as compared to other regions may preclude the necessity of carry-over provisions.
The SSC does not support the use of phase-in provisions when recommendations support a substantial reduction on ABC, but notes the utility of these types of actions in a precautionary manner when there is substantial uncertainty surrounded a recommended increase in ABC. Additional comments are provided in the SSC minutes on implementation of these provisions and the need for full analyses of the provisions on the NPFMC ABC control rules prior to adoption. The Council will submit the SSC’s feedback to NMFS on behalf of the Council.
Staff contact is Diana Stram.