At this meeting, the Council reviewed an initial review draft that analyzed a proposed action to revise federal regulations prohibiting directed fishing for species with sideboard limits insufficient to support directed fishing by non-exempt AFA vessels and crab vessels. NMFS would no longer publish these AFA and Crab Rationalization Program sideboard limits in the annual harvest specifications. The proposed action would also remove the sideboard limit on AFA catcher/processors for Central Aleutian Islands Atka mackerel because the sideboard limit under the AFA (11.5%) exceeds the allocation to the trawl limited access sector (10%) that was established by the Amendment 80 Program.
After reviewing the initial draft, the Council released the analysis for public review, once staff incorporates the SSC’s comments to the extent practical. Staff contact is Jon McCracken.