At this meeting, the Council adopted a revised purpose and need statement and provided alternatives, elements, and options for a proposed BSAI Pacific cod trawl catcher vessel (CV) cooperative style-limited access privilege program (LAPP), which are summarized below. The Council did not move forward with development of a pot CV ≥ 60’ LAPP at this time. Instead, the Council encouraged the pot sector participants to work together to provide a more inclusive LAPP for all sector participants.
For the trawl CV LAPP, the Council is currently considering two different cooperative approaches: 1) two cooperatives, one for AFA vessels and one for non-AFA vessels (Element 1, Option 1), or 2) voluntary harvester cooperatives in association with a licensed processor (Element 1, Option 2).
Based on the Council’s motion, any LLP license assigned to a vessel that authorized that vessel’s legal landings of targeted trawl catcher vessel BSAI Pacific cod during the qualifying years is eligible to receive harvest shares (Element 2.1).
To determine harvest allocations, the Council included three different year combinations based on targeted BSAI Pacific cod harvest (Element 2.2, Options 1-3) and a fourth option that would blend both catch history and sideboard history for AFA BSAI Pacific cod sideboarded vessels only (Element 2.2, Option 4). The Council included an option to allocate only A season and B season harvest quota, leaving C season to remain as a limited access fishery to any vessel with an eligible groundfish LLP license and appropriate endorsements (Element 2.5).
With regards to prohibited species catch (PSC), the Council would continue to utilize the current harvest specifications process to determine the amount of halibut and crab PSC that would be apportioned to the trawl catcher vessel cooperatives (Element 3, Option 1). For example, halibut PSC is currently assigned to the trawl limited access sector and is further divided by fishery with 391 mt designated for use in the BSAI Pacific cod fishery for the 2019 fishing year. This halibut PSC limit is shared by the BSAI Pacific cod trawl catcher vessel sector and AFA catcher processor sector. The Council included a suboption to establish a trawl CV Pacific cod halibut PSC apportionment based on historic use between trawl catcher vessel sector and the AFA catcher processor sector (Element 3, Option 1, Suboption). The Council also included an option to reduce halibut and crab PSC apportionment to BSAI trawl catcher vessel Pacific cod sector by 10% to 25% (Element 3, Option 2).
The Council also included options to limit spillover effects from the BSAI Pacific cod trawl CV LAPP on GOA fisheries. These options include sideboard limits for AFA LLPs and CVs (Element 4, Option 1) and non-AFA LLP licenses (Element 4, Option 3) based on their GOA catch history during the BSAI Pacific cod qualifying period and restricting transfers of BSAI Pacific cod history on their respective LLP license for AFA GOA sideboard exempt trawl catcher vessels as a condition of continuing to benefit from their GOA sideboard exemption (Element 4, Option 2). The Council did include a provision to exempt non-AFA catcher vessels from GOA sideboards if their qualifying BSAI Pacific cod history was less than a yet to be determined threshold amount (Element 4, Option 3, suboption).
Included in the Council’s elements and options were provisions addressing processors. These include allowing all processors with an eligible federal processor permit to process BSAI Pacific cod (subject to eligibility requirements under the April 2019 Council action to limit catcher processors acting as motherships) (Element 5.1); a limit on targeted BSAI Pacific cod that can be delivered by trawl CVs (Element 5.2), and allocating harvest shares to onshore and offshore processors for use in a trawl catcher vessel cooperative (Element 5.3). The percent of shares allocated to eligible processors ranges from 5% to 30%.
The Council included provisions to promote sustained participation of Aleutian Islands (AI) processors and communities (Element 6). Option 1 requires the cooperative(s) to reserve a set-aside ranging from 10% to 25% of the BSAI trawl catcher vessel A season harvest amount for delivery to a shoreplant in the AI management region. Option 2 would issue annual harvest quota, the lesser of 5,000 mt or 5.5% of the total BSAI trawl catcher vessel Pacific cod quota, to the plant operator if the community of Adak or Atka files a notice of intent to process.
The Council also included transferability provisions. Specifically, Element 7 notes that catch histories are attached to the LLP license and are non-severable from the LLP license. Transfer of an LLP license eligible for this program results in the transfer of any program eligibility and catch history/harvest shares associated with the LLP (Element 7.1). Allocations based on processing history will be issued as separate permits and use and transfer restrictions on these processor cooperative shares, if selected, will determined at later date (Element 7.2).
With regards to ownership and use caps, the Council included options for a use cap for harvester-issued (Element 8.1) and processor-issued cooperative shares (Element 8.3), vessel use caps (Element 8.2), and processing cap (Element 8.4). Ownership and use cap percentages will be determined after further analysis. The Council included options to grandfather persons over the harvester-issued and processor-issued use caps and the processing cap.
Finally, the Council included elements to address cooperative provisions (Element 9), share duration (Element 10), monitoring (Element 11), reporting and program review (Element 12), cost recovery (Element 13), and gear conversion to fish BSAI Pacific cod trawl catcher vessel quota with pot gear (Element 14).
Staff contact is Jon McCracken.