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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of March 26, 2020

Title 50Chapter VIPart 660Subpart C → §660.55


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES
Subpart C—West Coast Groundfish Fisheries


§660.55   Allocations.

(a) General. The opportunity to harvest Pacific Coast groundfish is allocated among participants in the fishery when the ACLs for a given year are established in the biennial harvest specifications. For any stock that has been declared overfished, any formal allocation may be temporarily revised for the duration of the rebuilding period. For certain species, primarily trawl-dominant species, separate allocations for the trawl and nontrawl fishery (which for this purpose includes limited entry fixed gear, directed open access, and recreational fisheries) will be established biennially or annually using the standards and procedures described in Chapter 6 of the PCGFMP. Chapter 6 of the PCGFMP provides the allocation structure and percentages for species allocated between the trawl and nontrawl fisheries. Also, for those species not subject to the trawl and nontrawl allocations specified under Amendment 21 and in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, separate allocations for the limited entry and open access fisheries may be established using the procedures described in Chapters 6 and 11 of the PCGFMP and this subpart. Allocation of sablefish north of 36° N lat. is described in paragraph (h) of this section and in the PCGFMP. Allocation of Pacific whiting is described in paragraph (i) of this section and in the PCGFMP. Allocation of black rockfish is described in paragraph (l) of this section. Allocation of Pacific halibut bycatch is described in paragraph (m) of this section. Allocations not specified in the PCGFMP are established in regulation through the biennial harvest specifications and are listed in Tables 1 a through d and Tables 2 a through d of this subpart.

(b) Fishery harvest guidelines and reductions made prior to fishery allocations. Prior to the setting of fishery allocations, the TAC, ACL, or ACT when specified, is reduced by the Pacific Coast treaty Indian Tribal harvest (allocations, set-asides, and estimated harvest under regulations at §660.50); projected scientific research catch of all groundfish species, estimates of fishing mortality in non-groundfish fisheries; and, as necessary, deductions to account for unforeseen catch events and deductions for EFPs. Deductions are listed in the footnotes of Tables 1a and 2a of subpart C of this part. The remaining amount after these deductions is the fishery harvest guideline or quota. (Note: recreational estimates are not deducted here.)

(1) Pacific Coast treaty Indian tribal allocations, set-asides, and regulations are specified during the biennial harvest specifications process and are found at §660.50 and in Tables 1a and 2a of this subpart.

(2) Scientific research catch results from scientific research activity as defined in regulations at §600.10.

(3) Estimates of fishing mortality in non-groundfish fisheries are based on historical catch and projected fishing activities.

(4) EFPs are authorized and governed by regulations at §§660.60(f) and 600.745.

(c) Trawl/nontrawl allocations. (1) Species/species groups and areas allocated between the trawl and non-trawl fisheries are allocated based on the amounts and percentages in the table below. IFQ species not listed in the table below are allocated between the trawl and nontrawl fisheries through the biennial harvest specifications process.

Table 1 to Paragraph (c)(1)—Allocation Amounts and Percentages for Limited Entry Trawl and Non-Trawl Sectors Specified for FMP Groundfish Stocks and Stock Complexes

Stock or complexAll non-treaty
LE trawl sectors
(%)
All non-treaty
non-trawl sectors
(%)
Lingcod4555
Pacific Cod955
Sablefish S of 36° N lat4258
PACIFIC OCEAN PERCH955
WIDOW919
Chilipepper S of 40°10 N lat7525
Splitnose S of 40°10 N lat955
Yellowtail N of 40°10 N lat8812
Shortspine N of 34°27 N lat955
Shortspine S of 34°27 N lat(*)(**)
Longspine N of 34°27 N lat955
DARKBLOTCHED955
Minor Slope RF North of 40°10 N lat8118
Minor Slope RF South of 40°10 N lat6337
Dover Sole955
English Sole955
Petrale Sole955
Arrowtooth Flounder955
Starry Flounder5050
Other Flatfish9010

*50 mt.

**Remaining Yield.

(i) Trawl fishery allocation. The allocation for the limited entry trawl fishery is derived by applying the trawl allocation amounts and percentages as specified in paragraph (c) of this section and as specified during the biennial harvest specifications process to the fishery harvest guideline for species/species groups and areas. For IFQ species the trawl allocation is further subdivided within each of the trawl sectors (MS, C/P, and IFQ) as specified in §660.140, 660.150, and 660.160 of subpart D. The whiting allocation is further subdivided among the trawl sectors as specified in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section.

(ii) Nontrawl fishery allocation. For each species/species group and area, the nontrawl fishery allocation is derived by subtracting from the corresponding harvest guideline the trawl allocations specified in paragraph (c) of this section and during the biennial harvest specifications. The nontrawl allocation will be shared between the limited entry fixed gear, open access, and recreational fisheries as specified through the biennial harvest specifications process and consistent with allocations in the PCGFMP.

(2) [Reserved]

(d) Commercial harvest guidelines. To derive the commercial harvest guideline, the fishery harvest guideline is further reduced by the recreational set-asides. The commercial harvest guideline is then allocated between the limited entry fishery (both trawl and fixed gear) and the directed open access fishery, as appropriate.

(e) Limited entry (LE)/open access (OA) allocations—(1) LE/OA allocation percentages. The allocations between the limited entry and open access fisheries are based on standards from the PCGFMP.

(2) Species with LE/OA allocations. For species with LE/OA allocations that are not subject to Amendment 21 allocations, the allocation between the limited entry (both trawl and fixed gear) and the open access fisheries is determined by applying the percentage for those species with a LE/OA allocation to the commercial harvest guideline plus the amount set-aside for the non-groundfish fisheries.

(i) Limited entry allocation. The allocation for the limited entry fishery is the commercial harvest guideline minus any allocation to the directed open access fishery.

(ii) Open access allocation. The allocation for the open access fishery is derived by applying the open access allocation percentage to the annual commercial harvest guideline or quota plus the non-groundfish fishery (i.e., incidental open access fishery) amount described in paragraph (b) of this section. The result is the total open access allocation. The portion that is set-aside for the non-groundfish fisheries is deducted and the remainder is the directed open access portion. For management areas or stocks for which quotas or harvest guidelines for a stock are not fully utilized, no separate allocation will be established for the open access fishery until it is projected that the allowable catch for a species will be reached.

(A) Open access allocation percentage. For each species with a harvest guideline or quota, the initial open access allocation percentage is calculated by:

(1) Computing the total catch for that species during the window period (July 11, 1984 through August 1, 1988) for the limited entry program by any vessel that did not initially receive a limited entry permit.

(2) Dividing that amount by the total catch during the window period by all gear.

(3) The guidelines in this paragraph apply to recalculation of the open access allocation percentage. Any recalculated allocation percentage will be used in calculating the following biennial fishing period's open access allocation.

(B) [Reserved]

(f) Catch accounting. Catch accounting refers to how the catch in a fishery is monitored against the allocations described in this section. For species with trawl/nontrawl allocations, catch of those species are counted against the trawl/nontrawl allocations as explained in paragraph (f)(1) of this section. For species with limited entry/open access allocations in a given biennial cycle, catch of those species are counted against the limited entry/open access allocations as explained in paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this section.

(1) Between the trawl and nontrawl fisheries—(i) Catch accounting for the trawl allocation. Any groundfish caught by a vessel registered to a limited entry trawl-endorsed permit will be counted against the trawl allocation while they are declared in to a groundfish limited entry trawl fishery and while the applicable trawl fishery listed in subpart D of this part for that vessel's limited entry permit is open.

(ii) Catch accounting for the nontrawl allocation. All groundfish caught by a vessel not registered to a limited entry permit and not fishing in the non-groundfish fishery will be counted against the nontrawl allocation. All groundfish caught by a vessel registered to a limited entry permit when the fishery for a vessel's limited entry permit has closed or they are not declared in to a limited entry fishery, will be counted against the nontrawl allocation, unless they are declared in to a non-groundfish fishery. Catch by vessels fishing in the non-groundfish fishery, as defined at §660.11, will be accounted for in the estimated mortality in the non-groundfish fishery that is deducted from the ACL or ACT when specified.

(2) [Reserved]

(g) Recreational fisheries. Recreational fishing for groundfish is outside the scope of, and not affected by, the regulations governing limited entry and open access fisheries. Certain amounts of groundfish will be set aside for the recreational fishery during the biennial specifications process. These amounts will be estimated prior to dividing the commercial harvest guideline between the limited entry and open access fisheries.

(h) Sablefish Allocations (north of 36° N. lat.). The allocations of sablefish north of 36° N. lat. described in paragraph (h) of this section are specified in Chapter 6 of the PCGFMP.

(1) Tribal/nontribal allocation. The sablefish allocation to Pacific coast treaty Indian tribes is identified at §660.50(f)(2). The remainder is available to the nontribal fishery (limited entry, open access (directed and incidental), and research).

(2) Between the limited entry and open access fisheries. The allocation of sablefish after tribal deductions is further reduced by the estimated total mortality of sablefish in research and recreational fisheries; the remaining yield (commercial harvest guideline) is divided between open access and limited entry fisheries. The limited entry fishery allocation is 90.6 percent of the commercial harvest guideline. The open access allocation is 9.4 percent of the commercial harvest guideline and includes incidental catch in non-groundfish fisheries, or incidental open access.

(3) Between the limited entry trawl and limited entry fixed gear fisheries. The limited entry sablefish allocation is further allocated 58 percent to the trawl fishery and 42 percent to the limited entry fixed gear (longline and pot/trap) fishery.

(4) Between the limited entry fixed gear primary season and daily trip limit fisheries. Within the limited entry fixed gear fishery allocation, 85 percent is reserved for the primary season described in §660.231, subpart E, leaving 15 percent for the limited entry daily trip limit fishery described in §660.232, subpart E.

(5) Ratios between tiers for sablefish-endorsed limited entry permits. The Regional Administrator will biennially or annually calculate the size of the cumulative trip limit for each of the three tiers associated with the sablefish endorsement such that the ratio of limits between the tiers is approximately 1:1.75:3.85 for Tier 3:Tier 2:Tier 1, respectively. The size of the cumulative trip limits will vary depending on the amount of sablefish available for the primary fishery and on estimated discard mortality rates within the fishery. The size of the cumulative trip limits for the three tiers in the primary fishery will be announced in §660.231(b)(3), subpart E.

(i) Pacific whiting allocation. The allocation structure and percentages for Pacific whiting are described in the PCGFMP.

(1) Annual treaty tribal Pacific whiting allocations are provided in §660.50, subpart C.

(2) The fishery harvest guideline for Pacific whiting is allocated among three sectors, as follows: 34 percent for the C/P Coop Program; 24 percent for the MS Coop Program; and 42 percent for the Shore based IFQ Program. No more than 5 percent of the Shore based IFQ Program allocation may be taken and retained south of 42° N. lat. before the start of the primary Pacific whiting season north of 42° N. lat. Specific sector allocations for a given calendar year are found in Tables 1a through c and 2a through c of this subpart. Set-asides for other species for the at-sea whiting fishery for a given calendar year are found in Tables 1D and 2D of this subpart.

(j) Fishery set-asides. Annual set-asides are not formal allocations but they are amounts which are not available to the other fisheries during the fishing year. For Pacific Coast treaty Indian fisheries, set-asides will be deducted from the TAC, OY, ACL, or ACT when specified. For the catcher/processor and mothership sectors of the at-sea Pacific whiting fishery, set-asides will be deducted from the limited entry trawl fishery allocation. Set-aside amounts may be adjusted through the biennial harvest specifications and management measures process.

(k) [Reserved]

(l) Black rockfish harvest guideline. The commercial tribal harvest guideline for black rockfish off Washington State is specified at §660.50(f)(1), subpart C.

(m) Pacific halibut bycatch allocation. The Pacific halibut fishery off Washington, Oregon and California (Area 2A in the halibut regulations) is managed under regulations at 50 CFR part 300, subpart E. The PCGFMP sets the trawl bycatch mortality limit at 15 percent of the Area 2A total constant exploitation yield (TCEY) for legal size halibut (net weight), not to exceed 130,000 pounds annually for legal size halibut (net weight) for 2012 through 2014 and, beginning in 2015, not to exceed 100,000 pounds annually for legal size halibut (net weight). The TCEY used for these calculations will be the best estimate of the TCEY available from the International Pacific Halibut Commission at the time of the calculation. For the purpose of this paragraph, the term “legal sized” halibut refers to halibut with a total length of 32 inches and above, or O32, and the term “sublegal sized” halibut refers to halibut under 32 inches in total length, or U32. To determine the trawl bycatch mortality limit, the pounds of halibut available to the trawl fleet will be expanded from the legal sized halibut mortality (net weight) to a round weight legal and sublegal sized amount. To convert from net weight to round weight, multiply by the conversion factor used by the International Pacific Halibut Commission at the time of calculation for net weight to round weight. To convert from legal sized halibut to legal and sublegal sized halibut, multiply by the conversion factor from the NMFS trawl fishery bycatch report as reported to the International Pacific Halibut Commission at the time of calculation for legal sized to legal and sublegal sized halibut. The bycatch allocation percent can be adjusted downward or upward through the biennial specifications and management measures process but the upper bound on the maximum pounds of allocation can only be changed though an FMP amendment. Part of the overall total mortality limit is a set-aside of 10 mt of Pacific halibut (legal and sublegal, round weight), to accommodate bycatch in the at-sea Pacific whiting fishery and in the shorebased trawl fishery south of 40°10 N. lat. (estimated to be approximately 5 mt each). This set-aside can be adjusted through the biennial specifications and management measures process.

[75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010, as amended at 75 FR 78382, Dec. 15, 2010; 75 FR 82300, Dec. 30, 2010; 76 FR 27529, May 11, 2011; 76 FR 53835, Aug. 30, 2011; 76 FR 74737, Dec. 1, 2011; 77 FR 28507, May 15, 2012; 78 FR 588, Jan. 3, 2013; 80 FR 77270, Dec. 14, 2015; 81 FR 84428, Nov. 23, 2016; 82 FR 9639, Feb. 7, 2017; 83 FR 759, Jan. 8, 2018; 83 FR 63991, Dec. 12, 2018; 84 FR 68805, Dec. 17, 2019]

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