[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 40 (Tuesday, March 1, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 11111-11139]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-4402]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 101126522-0640-02]
RIN 0648-XZ89


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of 
Alaska; Final 2011 and 2012 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Final rule; closures.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications, 
apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for 
the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is 
necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2011 
and 2012 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of 
the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the GOA. The intended 
effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish 
resources in the GOA in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act.

DATES: Effective at 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 1, 
2011, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the Final Alaska Groundfish Harvest 
Specifications Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Record of Decision 
(ROD), Supplementary Information Report (SIR) to the EIS, and the Final 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) prepared for this action are 
available from http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. The final 2010 Stock 
Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for the groundfish 
resources of the GOA, dated November 2010, is available from the North 
Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) at 605 West 4th Avenue, 
Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99510-2252, phone 907-271-2809, or from the 
Council's Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Pearson, 907-481-1780, or Obren 
Davis, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the GOA groundfish fisheries in 
the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the GOA under the Fishery 
Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). The Council 
prepared the FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 
et seq. Regulations governing U.S. fisheries and implementing the FMP 
appear at 50 CFR parts 600, 679, and 680.
    The FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS, after 
consultation with the Council, to specify the total allowable catch 
(TAC) for each target species, the sum of which must be within the 
optimum yield (OY) range of 116,000 to 800,000 metric tons (mt). 
Section 679.20(c)(1) further requires NMFS to publish and solicit 
public comment on proposed annual TACs, halibut prohibited species 
catch (PSC) amounts, and seasonal allowances of pollock and inshore/
offshore Pacific cod. Upon consideration of public comment received 
under Sec.  679.20(c)(1), NMFS must publish notice of final harvest 
specifications for up to two fishing years as annual target TAC, per 
Sec.  679.20(c)(3)(ii). The final harvest specifications set forth in 
Tables 1 through 25 of this document reflect the outcome of this 
process, as required at Sec.  679.20(c).
    The proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications for groundfish of 
the GOA and Pacific halibut PSC allowances were published in the 
Federal Register on December 8, 2010 (75 FR 76352). Comments were 
invited and accepted through January 7, 2011. NMFS did not receive any 
comments on the proposed harvest specifications. In December 2010, NMFS 
consulted with the Council regarding the 2011 and 2012 harvest 
specifications. After considering public testimony, as well as 
biological and economic data that were available at the Council's 
December 2010 meeting, NMFS is implementing the final 2011 and 2012 
harvest specifications, as recommended by the Council. For 2011, the 
sum of the TAC amounts is 318,288 mt. For 2012, the sum of the TAC 
amounts is 335,078 mt.

Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) and TAC Specifications

    In December 2010, the Council, its Advisory Panel (AP), and its 
Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), reviewed current biological 
and harvest information about the condition of groundfish stocks in the 
GOA. This information was compiled by the Council's GOA Plan Team and 
was presented in the draft 2010 SAFE report for the GOA groundfish 
fisheries, dated November 2010 (see ADDRESSES). The SAFE report 
contains a review of the latest scientific analyses and estimates of 
each species' biomass and other biological parameters, as well as 
summaries of the available information on the GOA ecosystem and the 
economic condition of the groundfish fisheries off Alaska. From these 
data and analyses, the Plan Team estimates an overfishing level (OFL) 
and ABC for each species or species group. The 2010 SAFE report was 
made available for public review upon notification of the proposed 
harvest specifications.
    In previous years the largest changes from the proposed to the 
final harvest specifications have been based on the most recent NMFS 
stock surveys, which provide updated estimates of stock biomass and 
spatial distribution, and changes to the models used for making stock 
assessments. NMFS scientists presented updated and new survey results, 
changes to assessment models, and accompanying stock estimates at the 
November Plan Team meeting, and the SSC reviewed this information at 
the December 2010 Council meeting. In November 2010, the Plan Team 
considered updated stock assessments for pollock, Pacific cod, 
sablefish, sharks, squids, sculpins, and octopuses that are included in 
the final 2010 SAFE report. For the other groundfish stocks without 
recent surveys or other new scientific information, the final 2010 SAFE 
report updates the final 2009 SAFE assessments to include any other 
available, recent information, such as 2010 catch information, which 
does not result in significant changes from the proposed 2011 and 2012 
harvest specifications. Changes from the proposed to the final harvest 
specifications in 2011 for newly assessed groundfish stocks are 
discussed below. New stock surveys and assessments are scheduled for 
2011 and will be considered at the Plan Team and Council meetings in 
2011 for the 2012 and 2013 groundfish fisheries.
    The final ABCs and TACs are based on the best available biological 
and socioeconomic information, including projected biomass trends, 
information on assumed distribution of stock biomass, and revised 
methods used to calculate stock biomass. The FMP specifies the 
formulas, or tiers, to be used to compute ABCs and OFLs. The formulas 
applicable to a particular stock or stock complex are determined by the 
level of reliable information available to

[[Page 11112]]

fisheries scientists. This information is categorized into a successive 
series of six tiers to define OFL and ABC amounts, with tier one 
representing the highest level of information quality available and 
tier six representing the lowest level of information quality 
available.
    The SSC adopted the final 2011 and 2012 OFLs and ABCs recommended 
by the Plan Team for all groundfish species, with the exception of 
sharks. The Plan Team's ABC recommendation for the shark species group 
was based on a 0.04 fishing mortality rate. However, the SSC preferred 
an ABC based on the tier 5 ABC calculation for spiny dogfish (where the 
ABC equals 75 percent of the OFL) and a tier 6 calculation for other 
sharks in the group. The Council adopted the SSC's OFL and ABC 
recommendations and the AP's TAC recommendations. The final TAC 
recommendations were based on the ABCs as adjusted for other biological 
and socioeconomic considerations, including maintaining the sum of all 
TACs within the required OY range of 116,000 to 800,000 mt.
    The Council recommended TACs for 2011 and 2012 that are equal to 
ABCs for pollock, deep-water flatfish, rex sole, sablefish, Pacific 
ocean perch, shortraker rockfish, rougheye rockfish, northern rockfish, 
pelagic shelf rockfish, thornyhead rockfish, demersal shelf rockfish, 
big skate, longnose skate, other skates, squids, sharks, octopuses, and 
sculpins. The Council recommended TACs for 2011 and 2012 that are less 
than the ABCs for Pacific cod, flathead sole, shallow-water flatfish, 
arrowtooth flounder, other rockfish, and Atka mackerel. The Pacific cod 
TACs are set to accommodate the State of Alaska's (State's) guideline 
harvest levels (GHLs) for Pacific cod so that the ABC is not exceeded. 
The flathead sole, shallow-water flatfish, and arrowtooth flounder TACs 
are set to conserve the halibut PSC limit for use in other fisheries. 
The other rockfish TAC is set to reduce the amount of discards in the 
Southeast Outside (SEO) District. The Atka mackerel TAC is set to 
accommodate incidental catch amounts in other fisheries.
    The 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications approved by the Secretary 
of Commerce (Secretary) are unchanged from those recommended by the 
Council and are consistent with the preferred harvest strategy 
alternative in the EIS (see ADDRESSES). NMFS finds that the Council's 
recommended OFLs, ABCs, and TACs are consistent with the biological 
condition of the groundfish stocks as described in the final 2010 SAFE 
report. NMFS also finds that the Council's recommendations for OFLs, 
ABCs, and TACs are consistent with the biological condition of 
groundfish stocks as adjusted for other biological and socioeconomic 
considerations, including maintaining the total TAC within the OY 
range. NMFS reviewed the Council's recommended TAC specifications and 
apportionments and approves these harvest specifications under 50 CFR 
679.20(c)(3)(ii). The apportionment of TAC amounts among gear types, 
processing sectors, and seasons is discussed below.
    Tables 1 and 2 list the final 2011 and 2012 OFLs, ABCs, TACs, and 
area apportionments of groundfish in the GOA. The sums of the 2011 and 
2012 ABCs are 590,121 mt and 603,990 mt, respectively, which are higher 
in 2011 and 2012 than the 2010 ABC sum of 565,499 mt (75 FR 11749, 
March 12, 2010).

Specification and Apportionment of TAC Amounts

    The ABC for the pollock stock in the combined Western, Central, and 
West Yakutat Regulatory Areas (W/C/WYK) has been adjusted to reflect 
the GHL established by the State for the Prince William Sound (PWS) 
pollock fishery since its inception in 1995. Genetic studies have led 
fisheries scientists to believe that the pollock in PWS is not a 
separate stock from the combined W/C/WYK population. Accordingly, the 
Council recommended decreasing the W/C/WYK pollock ABC to account for 
the State's PWS GHL. For 2011 and 2012, the PWS GHL for pollock is 
1,650 mt.
    The apportionment of annual pollock TAC among the Western and 
Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA reflects the seasonal biomass 
distribution and is discussed in greater detail below. The annual 
pollock TAC in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA is 
apportioned among Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, as well as 
equally among each of the following four seasons: the A season (January 
20 through March 10), the B season (March 10 through May 31), the C 
season (August 25 through October 1), and the D season (October 1 
through November 1) (50 CFR 679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), and 
679.20(a)(5)(iv)(A) through (B)).
    As in 2010, the SSC and Council recommended that the method of 
apportioning the sablefish ABC among management areas in 2011 and 2012 
include commercial fishery and survey data. NMFS stock assessment 
scientists believe the use of unbiased commercial fishery data 
reflecting catch-per-unit-effort provides rational input for stock 
distribution assessments. NMFS evaluates annually the use of commercial 
fishery data to ensure unbiased information is included in stock 
distribution models. The Council's recommendation for sablefish area 
apportionments also takes into account the prohibition on the use of 
trawl gear in the SEO District of the Eastern Regulatory Area and makes 
available five percent of the combined Eastern Regulatory Area ABCs to 
trawl gear for use as incidental catch in other directed groundfish 
fisheries in the WYK District (Sec.  679.20(a)(4)(i)).
    The AP, SSC, and Council recommended apportionment of the ABC for 
Pacific cod in the GOA among regulatory areas based on the three most 
recent NMFS summer trawl surveys. The 2011 and 2012 Pacific cod TACs 
are affected by the State's fishery for Pacific cod in State waters in 
the Central and Western Regulatory Areas, as well as in PWS. The Plan 
Team, SSC, AP, and Council recommended that the sum of all State and 
Federal water Pacific cod removals from the GOA not exceed ABC 
recommendations. Accordingly, the Council recommended reducing the 2011 
and 2012 Pacific cod TACs from the ABCs in the Eastern, Central and 
Western Regulatory Areas to account for State GHLs. Therefore, the 2011 
Pacific cod TACs are less than the ABCs by the following amounts: (1) 
Eastern GOA, 651 mt; (2) Central GOA, 13,454 mt; and (3) Western GOA, 
7,595 mt. The 2012 Pacific cod TACs are less than the ABCs by the 
following amounts: (1) Eastern GOA, 587 mt; (2) Central GOA, 12,121 mt; 
and (3) Western GOA, 6,842 mt. These amounts reflect the sum of the 
State's 2011 and 2012 GHLs in these areas, which are 25 percent of the 
Eastern, Central, and Western GOA ABCs, respectively. The percentage of 
the ABC used to calculate the 2011 and 2012 GHL for the State-managed 
Pacific cod fishery in PWS fisheries has been increased to 25 percent 
of the Eastern GOA ABC in 2011 and 2012, an increase from 15 percent in 
2010.
    NMFS establishes seasonal apportionments of the annual Pacific cod 
TAC in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas. Sixty percent of the 
annual TAC is apportioned to the A season for hook-and-line, pot, and 
jig gear from January 1 through June 10, and for trawl gear from 
January 20 through June 10. Forty percent of the annual TAC is 
apportioned to the B season for hook-and-line, pot, and jig gear from 
September 1 through December 31, and for trawl gear from September 1 
through November 1 (Sec. Sec.  679.23(d)(3) and 679.20(a)(12)).
    For 2011 and 2012, NMFS establishes an A season directed fishing 
allowance

[[Page 11113]]

(DFA) for the Pacific cod fisheries in the GOA based on the management 
area TACs minus the recent, average A season incidental catch of 
Pacific cod in each management area before June 10 (Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)). The DFA and incidental catch before June 10 will be 
managed such that total harvest in the A season will be no more than 60 
percent of the annual TAC. Incidental catch taken after June 10 will 
continue to accrue against the B season TAC. This action meets the 
intent of the Steller sea lion protection measures by achieving 
temporal dispersion of the Pacific cod removals and by reducing the 
likelihood of harvest exceeding 60 percent of the annual TAC in the A 
season.

Other Actions Affecting the 2011 and 2012 Harvest Specifications

    NMFS published a final rule to implement Amendment 87 to the FMP on 
October 6, 2010 (75 FR 61639), effective November 5, 2010. Amendment 87 
moved squids, sharks, octopuses, and sculpins from the ``other 
species'' category to the ``target species'' category in the GOA and 
eliminated the ``other species'' category in the GOA FMP. Amendment 87 
revised the FMP to meet the National Standard 1 guidelines for annual 
catch limits and accountability measures and requires that OFLs, ABCs, 
and TACs be established for squids, sharks, octopuses, and sculpins as 
part of the annual groundfish harvest specifications process. Based on 
the 2010 final SAFE report, NMFS is establishing ABCs, TACs, and OFLs 
for squids, sharks, octopuses, and sculpins for 2011 and 2012 (see 
Tables 1 and 2).
    In October 2008, the Council adopted Amendment 34 to the Fishery 
Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs. 
Amendment 34 would amend the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab 
Rationalization Program (Crab Rationalization Program) to exempt 
additional fishery participants from harvest limits, called sideboards, 
which apply to some vessels and license limitation program (LLP) 
licenses that are used to participate in GOA Pacific cod and pollock 
fisheries. These particular sideboards are discussed under the 
subsequent section titled ``Non-AFA Crab Vessel Groundfish Harvest 
Limitations.'' Tables 17 and 18 specify the 2011 and 2012 sideboard 
amounts. If the Secretary approves Amendment 34, NMFS would revise the 
sideboard amounts specified in Tables 17 and 18. Pending completion of 
applicable rulemaking, these revisions could be effective as soon as 
the latter half of 2011.

Changes From the Proposed 2011 and 2012 Harvest Specifications in the 
GOA

    In October 2010, the Council's recommendations for the proposed 
2011 and 2012 harvest specifications (75 FR 76352, December 8, 2010) 
were based largely upon information contained in the final 2009 SAFE 
report for the GOA groundfish fisheries, dated November 2009 (see 
ADDRESSES). The Council proposed that the OFLs, ABCs, and TACs 
established for the 2011 groundfish fisheries (75 FR 11749, March 12, 
2010) be rolled over to 2011 and 2012, pending completion and review of 
the 2010 SAFE report at its December 2010 meeting.
    As described previously, the SSC adopted the final 2011 and 2012 
OFLs and ABCs recommended by the Plan Team, with the exception of 
sharks. The Council adopted the SSC's OFL and ABC recommendations and 
the AP's TAC recommendations for 2011 and 2012. The final 2011 ABCs are 
higher than the 2011 ABCs published in the proposed 2011 and 2012 
harvest specifications (75 FR 76352, December 8, 2010) for sablefish, 
arrowtooth flounder, northern rockfish, other rockfish, pelagic shelf 
rockfish, demersal shelf rockfish, squids, sharks, octopuses, and 
sculpins. Separate ABCs for squid, sharks, octopuses, and sculpins are 
being established for the first time in 2011 and 2012. These four 
species were formerly grouped under the ``other species'' category, 
with an aggregate OFL, ABC, and TAC. The final 2011 ABCs are lower than 
the proposed 2011 ABCs for pollock, Pacific cod, deepwater flatfish, 
rex sole, flathead sole, and rougheye rockfish. The final 2012 ABCs are 
higher than the proposed 2012 ABCs for pollock, sablefish, deepwater 
flatfish, flathead sole, other rockfish, demersal shelf rockfish, 
squids, sharks, octopuses, and sculpins. In contrast, the final 2012 
ABCs are lower than the proposed 2012 ABCs for Pacific cod, rex sole, 
arrowtooth flounder, Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, pelagic 
shelf rockfish, and rougheye rockfish. For the remaining target 
species, the Council recommended, and the Secretary approved, final 
2011 and 2012 ABC levels that are the same as the proposed 2011 and 
2012 ABC levels.
    Additional information explaining the changes between the proposed 
and final ABCs is included in the final 2010 SAFE report, which was not 
available when the Council made its proposed ABC and TAC 
recommendations in October 2010. At that time, the most recent stock 
assessment information was contained in the final 2009 SAFE report. The 
final 2010 SAFE report contains the best and most recent scientific 
information on the condition of the groundfish stocks, as previously 
discussed in this preamble. This document currently is available from 
the Council (see ADDRESSES). The Council considered the final 2010 SAFE 
report in December 2010 when it made recommendations for the final 2011 
and 2012 harvest specifications, including recommendations for 2011 and 
2012 TAC limits. The Council's final 2011 and 2012 TAC recommendations 
increase fishing opportunities for species for which the Council had 
sufficient information to raise TAC levels. Conversely, the Council 
reduced TAC levels to provide greater protection for some species. In 
the GOA, the total final 2011 TAC amount is 318,288 mt, a decrease of 
four percent from the total proposed 2011 TAC limit of 330,746 mt. The 
total final 2012 TAC amount is 335,078 mt, an increase of one percent 
from the total proposed 2011 TAC limit of 330,746 mt. For the species 
and species groups for which a new assessment was prepared, the 
greatest TAC increases were for sablefish, sharks, octopuses, and 
sculpins, while the greatest decreases were for pollock and Pacific 
cod. These TAC changes corresponded to associated changes in the ABC 
levels, as recommended by the SSC.
    The largest 2011 decreases in TAC occurred for pollock and Pacific 
cod. Pollock decreased from the proposed limit 109,105 mt to the final 
limit of 96,215 mt (12 percent decrease). While the 2010 SAFE report 
indicates an increase in spawning biomass, the current spawning biomass 
level places this stock in Tier 3b. Accordingly, ABC was calculated as 
required by the FMP for Tier 3b stocks, and TAC was set equal to ABC. 
Although the final TAC for pollock is reduced from the proposed level 
by 12 percent, this limit is still an increase over the final 2010 
pollock TAC. Pacific cod decreased from 73,426 mt to 65,100 mt (11 
percent decrease) in light of a new assessment model that projects a 
slight decline of Pacific cod biomass in coming years (rather than a 
slight increase as projected in 2009) and a decrease in the biomass 
estimates for recent year (2006-2009) classes.
    The basis for the increased TACs for sablefish, sharks, octopuses, 
and sculpins varied. Sablefish increased from 9,300 mt to 11,290 mt (21 
percent increase) due to an increased biomass estimate from the 2010 
sablefish hook-and-line survey. Sharks increased from 957 mt to 6,197 
mt (548 percent increase) due to the SSC's modification

[[Page 11114]]

of the Plan Team's recommendations for calculating shark ABC. The SSC 
recommended estimating the spiny dogfish ABC on a tier 5 approach, 
using the best available estimates for biomass and natural mortality 
rates for this species. For all other shark species, the SSC 
recommended using tier 6, which is based on recent average catch 
information. In combination, these recommendations led to the increased 
ABC for the shark complex. Octopuses increased from 224 mt to 954 mt 
(326 percent increase) due to the adoption of a biomass-based estimate 
placing octopuses in tier 5, rather than tier 6. Tier 6 management is 
based on the use of average historic catch data, which the Plan Team 
and SSC agreed was not an appropriate method to use for setting the OFL 
for octopuses. Instead, the octopus OFL was set using a modified tier 5 
approach, using the average of the three most recent GOA trawl survey 
estimates of biomass as a minimum estimate, and applying a conservative 
natural mortality rate to that estimate to establish the OFL. Sculpins 
increased from 4,746 mt to 5,496 mt (16 percent increase) due to 
revised estimates of natural mortality.
    The SSC recommended, and the Council concurred, that sharks and 
octopuses be placed on bycatch status. This eliminates the possibility 
that these species could be subject to directed fishing, and minimizes 
the potential catch of the species in these categories. The SSC 
believed that the stock assessment models for these species groups 
should be improved before considering allowing any directed fishing to 
occur. As such, NMFS is placing sharks and octopuses on bycatch status 
for the entire year.
    Detailed information providing the basis for the changes described 
above is contained in the final 2010 SAFE report. The other TAC 
increases or decreases in the final 2011 harvest specifications are 
within 2 percent of the proposed 2011 harvest specifications. The final 
TACs are based on the most recent scientific information available. 
These TACs are specified in compliance with the harvest strategy 
described in both the proposed and final rules for the 2011 and 2012 
harvest specifications. The changes in TAC limits between the proposed 
and this final rule are compared in the following table.

                             Comparison of Proposed and Final 2011 and 2012 GOA TACs
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               2011          2011                        2012          2012
           Species             2011 final    proposed     difference     2012 final    proposed     difference
                                  TAC          TAC       from proposed      TAC          TAC       from proposed
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock.....................       96,215      109,105         -12,890      121,649      109,105          12,544
Pacific cod.................       65,100       73,426          -8,326       58,650       73,426         -14,776
Sablefish...................       11,290        9,300           1,990       10,345        9,300           1,045
Shallow-water flatfish......       20,062       20,062               0       20,062       20,062               0
Deep-water flatfish.........        6,305        6,325             -20        6,486        6,325             161
Rex sole....................        9,565        9,592             -27        9,396        9,592            -196
Arrowtooth flounder.........       43,000       43,000               0       43,000       43,000               0
Flathead sole...............       10,587       10,576              11       10,693       10,576             117
Pacific ocean perch.........       16,997       16,993               4       16,187       16,993            -806
Northern rockfish...........        4,854        4,808              46        4,614        4,808            -194
Shortraker rockfish.........          914          914               0          914          914               0
Other rockfish..............        1,195        1,192               3        1,914        1,192               2
Pelagic shelf rockfish......        4,754        4,727              27        4,438        4,727            -289
Rougheye rockfish...........        1,312        1,313              -1        1,312        1,313              -1
Demersal shelf rockfish.....          300          295               5          300          295               5
Thornyhead rockfish.........        1,770        1,770               0        1,770        1,770               0
Atka mackerel...............        2,000        2,000               0        2,000        2,000               0
Big skate...................        3,328        3,328               0        3,328        3,328               0
Longnose skates.............        2,852        2,852               0        2,852        2,852               0
Other skates................        2,093        2,093               0        2,093        2,093               0
Squids......................        1,148        1,148               0        1,148        1,148               0
Sharks......................        6,197          957           5,240        6,197          957           5,240
Octopuses...................          954          224             224          954          224             730
Sculpins....................        5,496        4,746             750        5,496        4,746             750
                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...................      318,288      330,746         -12,458      335,078      330,746           4,332
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The final 2011 and 2012 TAC recommendations for the GOA are within 
the OY range established for the GOA and do not exceed the ABC for any 
single species or complex. Tables 1 and 2 list the 2011 and 2012, 
respectively, final OFL, ABC, and TAC amounts for GOA groundfish.

 Table 1--Final 2011 ABCs, TACs, and OFLs of Groundfish for the Western/Central/West Yakutat (W/C/WYK), Western
   (W), Central (C), Eastern (E) Regulatory Areas, and in the West Yakutat (WYK), Southeast Outside (SEO), and
                                  Gulfwide (GW) Districts of the Gulf of Alaska
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Species                                 Area \1\                 OFL        ABC        TAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock \2\..................................  Shumagin (610)..................        n/a     27,031     27,031
                                               Chirikof (620)..................        n/a     37,365     37,365
                                               Kodiak (630)....................        n/a     20,235     20,235

[[Page 11115]]

 
                                               WYK (640).......................        n/a      2,339      2,339
                                               W/C/WYK (subtotal)..............    118,030     86,970     86,970
                                               SEO (650).......................     12,326      9,245      9,245
                                               Total...........................    130,356     96,215     96,215
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod \3\..............................  W...............................        n/a     30,380     22,785
                                               C...............................        n/a     53,816     40,362
                                               E...............................        n/a      2,604      1,953
                                               Total...........................    102,600     86,800     65,100
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish \4\................................  W...............................        n/a      1,620      1,620
                                               C...............................        n/a      4,740      4,740
                                               WYK.............................        n/a      1,990      1,990
                                               SEO.............................        n/a      2,940      2,940
                                               E (WYK and SEO) (subtotal)......        n/a      4,930      4,930
                                               Total...........................     13,340     11,290     11,290
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shallow-water flatfish \6\...................  W...............................        n/a     23,681      4,500
                                               C...............................        n/a     29,999     13,000
                                               WYK.............................        n/a      1,228      1,228
                                               SEO.............................        n/a      1,334      1,334
                                               Total...........................     67,768     56,242     20,062
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Deep-water flatfish \5\......................  W...............................        n/a        529        529
                                               C...............................        n/a      2,919      2,919
                                               WYK.............................        n/a      2,083      2,083
                                               SEO.............................        n/a        774        774
                                               Total...........................      7,823      6,305      6,305
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rex sole.....................................  W...............................        n/a      1,517      1,517
                                               C...............................        n/a      6,294      6,294
                                               WYK.............................        n/a        868        868
                                               SEO.............................        n/a        886        886
                                               Total...........................     12,499      9,565      9,565
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arrowtooth flounder..........................  W...............................        n/a     34,317      8,000
                                               C...............................        n/a    144,559     30,000
                                               WYK.............................        n/a     22,551      2,500
                                               SEO.............................        n/a     11,723      2,500
                                               Total...........................    251,068    213,150     43,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flathead sole................................  W...............................        n/a     17,442      2,000
                                               C...............................        n/a     28,104      5,000
                                               WYK.............................        n/a      2,064      2,064
                                               SEO.............................        n/a      1,523      1,523
                                               Total...........................     61,412     49,133     10,587
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch \7\......................  W...............................      3,221      2,798      2,798
                                               C...............................     11,948     10,379     10,379
                                               WYK.............................        n/a      1,937      1,937
                                               SEO.............................        n/a      1,883      1,883
                                               E (WYK and SEO) (subtotal)......      4,397      3,820      3,820
                                               Total...........................     19,566     16,997     16,997
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Northern rockfish 8, 9.......................  W...............................        n/a      2,573      2,573
                                               C...............................        n/a      2,281      2,281
                                               E...............................        n/a          0          0
                                               Total...........................      5,784      4,854      4,854
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shortraker rockfish \11\.....................  W...............................        n/a        134        134
                                               C...............................        n/a        325        325
                                               E...............................        n/a        455        455
                                               Total...........................      1,219        914        914
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other rockfish 9, 12.........................  W...............................        n/a        212        212
                                               C...............................        n/a        507        507
                                               WYK.............................        n/a        276        276
                                               SEO.............................        n/a      2,757        200

[[Page 11116]]

 
                                               Total...........................      4,881      3,752      1,195
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pelagic shelf rockfish \13\..................  W...............................        n/a        611        611
                                               C...............................        n/a      3,052      3,052
                                               WYK.............................        n/a        407        407
                                               SEO.............................        n/a        684        684
                                               Total...........................      5,570      4,754      4,754
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rougheye and Blackspotted rockfish \10\......  W...............................        n/a         81         81
                                               C...............................        n/a        868        868
                                               E...............................        n/a        363        363
                                               Total...........................      1,579      1,312      1,312
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Demersal shelf rockfish \14\.................  SEO.............................        479        300        300
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thornyhead rockfish..........................  W...............................        n/a        425        425
                                               C...............................        n/a        637        637
                                               E...............................        n/a        708        708
                                               Total...........................      2,360      1,770      1,770
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atka mackerel................................  GW..............................      6,200      4,700      2,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Big skate \15\...............................  W...............................        n/a        598        598
                                               C...............................        n/a      2,049      2,049
                                               E...............................        n/a        681        681
                                               Total...........................      4,438      3,328      3,328
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Longnose skate \16\..........................  W...............................        n/a         81         81
                                               C...............................        n/a      2,009      2,009
                                               E...............................        n/a        762        762
                                               Total...........................      3,803      2,852      2,852
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other skates \17\............................  GW..............................      2,791      2,093      2,093
Squids.......................................  GW..............................      1,530      1,148      1,148
Sharks.......................................  GW..............................      8,263      6,197      6,197
Octopuses....................................  GW..............................      1,273        954        954
Sculpins.....................................  GW..............................      7,328      5,496      5,496
                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total....................................  ................................    723,928    590,121    318,288
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Regulatory areas and districts are defined at Sec.   679.2. (W=Western Gulf of Alaska; C=Central Gulf of
  Alaska; E=Eastern Gulf of Alaska; WYK=West Yakutat District; SEO=Southeast Outside District; GW=Gulf-wide).
\2\ Pollock is apportioned in the Western/Central Regulatory Areas among three statistical areas. Table 5 lists
  the final 2011 seasonal apportionments. In the West Yakutat and Southeast Outside Districts of the Eastern
  Regulatory Area, pollock is not divided into seasonal allowances.
\3\ The annual Pacific cod TAC is apportioned 60% to the A season and 40% to the B season in the Western and
  Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA. Pacific cod is allocated 90% for processing by the inshore component and
  10% for processing by the offshore component. Table 7 lists the final 2011 Pacific cod seasonal
  apportionments.
\4\ Sablefish is allocated to trawl and hook-and-line gears for 2011. Table 3 lists the final 2011 sablefish
  TACs.
\5\ ``Deep-water flatfish'' means Dover sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, and deepsea sole.
\6\ ``Shallow-water flatfish'' means flatfish not including ``deep-water flatfish,'' flathead sole, rex sole, or
  arrowtooth flounder.
\7\ ``Pacific ocean perch'' means Sebastes alutus.
\8\ ``Northern rockfish'' means Sebastes polyspinous. For management purposes the 3 mt apportionment of ABC to
  the WYK District of the Eastern Gulf of Alaska has been included in the slope rockfish species group.
\9\ ``Slope rockfish'' means Sebastes aurora (aurora), S. melanostomus (blackgill), S. paucispinis (bocaccio),
  S. goodei (chilipepper), S. crameri (darkblotch), S. elongatus (greenstriped), S. variegatus (harlequin), S.
  wilsoni (pygmy), S. babcocki (redbanded), S. proriger (redstripe), S. zacentrus (sharpchin), S. jordani
  (shortbelly), S. brevispinis (silvergrey), S. diploproa (splitnose), S. saxicola (stripetail), S. miniatus
  (vermilion), and S. reedi (yellowmouth). In the Eastern GOA only, slope rockfish also includes northern
  rockfish, S. polyspinous.
\10\ ``Rougheye rockfish'' means Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted).
\11\ ``Shortraker rockfish'' means Sebastes borealis.
\12\ ``Other rockfish'' in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas and in the West Yakutat District means slope
  rockfish and demersal shelf rockfish. The ``other rockfish'' species group in the SEO District means slope
  rockfish.
\13\ ``Pelagic shelf rockfish'' means, S. variabilis (dusky), S. entomelas (widow), and S. flavidus
  (yellowtail).
\14\ ``Demersal shelf rockfish'' means Sebastes pinniger (canary), S. nebulosus (china), S. caurinus (copper),
  S. maliger (quillback), S. helvomaculatus (rosethorn), S. nigrocinctus (tiger), and S. ruberrimus (yelloweye).
\15\ ``Big skate'' means Raja binoculata.
\16\ ``Longnose skate'' means Raja rhina.
\17\ ``Other skates'' means Bathyraja spp.


[[Page 11117]]


 Table 2--Final 2012 ABCs, TACs, and OFLs of Groundfish for the Western/Central/West Yakutat (W/C/WYK), Western
   (W), Central (C), Eastern (E) Regulatory Areas, and in the West Yakutat (WYK), Southeast Outside (SEO), and
                                  Gulfwide (GW) Districts of the Gulf of Alaska
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Species                                 Area \1\                 OFL        ABC        TAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock \2\..................................  Shumagin (610)..................        n/a     34,932     34,932
                                               Chirikof (620)..................        n/a     48,293     48,293
                                               Kodiak (630)....................        n/a     26,155     26,155
                                               WYK (640).......................        n/a      3,024      3,024
                                               W/C/WYK (subtotal)..............    151,030    112,404    112,404
                                               SEO (650).......................     12,326      9,245      9,245
                                               Total...........................    163,356    121,649    121,649
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod \3\..............................  W...............................        n/a     27,370     20,528
                                               C...............................        n/a     48,484     36,362
                                               E...............................        n/a      2,346      1,760
                                               Total...........................     92,300     78,200     58,650
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish \4\................................  W...............................        n/a      1,484      1,484
                                               C...............................        n/a      4,343      4,343
                                               WYK.............................        n/a      1,818      1,818
                                               SEO.............................        n/a      2,700      2,700
                                               E (WYK and SEO) (subtotal)......        n/a      4,518      4,518
                                               Total...........................     12,232     10,345     10,345
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shallow-water flatfish \6\...................  W...............................        n/a     23,681      4,500
                                               C...............................        n/a     29,999     13,000
                                               WYK.............................        n/a      1,228      1,228
                                               SEO.............................        n/a      1,334      1,334
                                               Total...........................     67,768     56,242     20,062
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Deep-water flatfish \5\......................  W...............................        n/a        541        541
                                               C...............................        n/a      3,004      3,004
                                               WYK.............................        n/a      2,144      2,144
                                               SEO.............................        n/a        797        797
                                               Total...........................      8,046      6,486      6,486
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rex sole.....................................  W...............................        n/a      1,490      1,490
                                               C...............................        n/a      6,184      6,184
                                               WYK.............................        n/a        853        853
                                               SEO.............................        n/a        889        889
                                               Total...........................     12,279      9,396      9,396
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arrowtooth flounder..........................  W...............................        n/a     33,975      8,000
                                               C...............................        n/a    143,119     30,000
                                               WYK.............................        n/a     22,327      2,500
                                               SEO.............................        n/a     11,606      2,500
                                               Total...........................    248,576    211,027     43,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flathead sole................................  W...............................        n/a     17,960      2,000
                                               C...............................        n/a     28,938      5,000
                                               WYK.............................        n/a      2,125      2,125
                                               SEO.............................        n/a      1,568      1,568
                                               Total...........................     63,202     50,591     10,693
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch \7\......................  W...............................      3,068      2,665      2,665
                                               C...............................     11,379      9,884      9,884
                                               WYK.............................        n/a      1,845      1,845
                                               SEO.............................        n/a      1,793      1,793
                                               E (WYK and SEO) (subtotal)......      4,188      3,638      3,638
                                               Total...........................     18,635     16,187     16,187
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Northern rockfish 8, 9.......................  W...............................        n/a      2,446      2,446
                                               C...............................        n/a      2,168      2,168
                                               E...............................        n/a          0          0
                                               Total...........................      5,498      4,614      4,614
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shortraker rockfish \11\.....................  W...............................        n/a        134        134
                                               C...............................        n/a        325        325
                                               E...............................        n/a        455        455
                                               Total...........................      1,219        914        914
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other rockfish 9, 12.........................  W...............................        n/a        212        212
                                               C...............................        n/a        507        507

[[Page 11118]]

 
                                               WYK.............................        n/a        275        275
                                               SEO.............................        n/a      2,757        200
                                               Total...........................      4,881      3,751      1,194
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pelagic shelf rockfish \13\..................  W...............................        n/a        570        570
                                               C...............................        n/a      2,850      2,850
                                               WYK.............................        n/a        380        380
                                               SEO.............................        n/a        638        638
                                               Total...........................      5,387      4,438      4,438
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rougheye and Blackspotted rockfish \10\......  W...............................        n/a         81         81
                                               C...............................        n/a        868        868
                                               E...............................        n/a        363        363
                                               Total...........................      1,579      1,312      1,312
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Demersal shelf rockfish \14\.................  SEO.............................        479        300        300
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thornyhead rockfish..........................  W...............................        n/a        425        425
                                               C...............................        n/a        637        637
                                               E...............................        n/a        708        708
                                               Total...........................      2,360      1,770      1,770
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atka mackerel................................  GW..............................      6,200      4,700      2,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Big skate \15\...............................  W...............................        n/a        598        598
                                               C...............................        n/a      2,049      2,049
                                               E...............................        n/a        681        681
                                               Total...........................      4,438      3,328      3,328
Longnose skate \16\..........................  W...............................        n/a         81         81
                                               C...............................        n/a      2,009      2,009
                                               E...............................        n/a        762        762
                                               Total...........................      3,803      2,852      2,852
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other skates \17\............................  GW..............................      2,791      2,093      2,093
Squids.......................................  GW..............................      1,530      1,148      1,148
Sharks.......................................  GW..............................      8,263      6,197      6,197
Octopuses....................................  GW..............................      1,272        954        954
Sculpins.....................................  GW..............................      7,328      5,496      5,496
                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total....................................  ................................    743,421    603,990    335,078
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Regulatory areas and districts are defined at Sec.   679.2. (W=Western Gulf of Alaska; C=Central Gulf of
  Alaska; E=Eastern Gulf of Alaska; WYK=West Yakutat District; SEO=Southeast Outside District; GW=Gulf-wide).
\2\ Pollock is apportioned in the Western/Central Regulatory Areas among three statistical areas. Table 6 lists
  the final 2012 seasonal apportionments. In the West Yakutat and Southeast Outside Districts of the Eastern
  Regulatory Area, pollock is not divided into seasonal allowances.
\3\ The annual Pacific cod TAC is apportioned 60% to the A season and 40% to the B season in the Western and
  Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA. Pacific cod is allocated 90% for processing by the inshore component and
  10% for processing by the offshore component. Table 8 lists the final 2012 Pacific cod seasonal
  apportionments.
\4\ Sablefish is allocated to trawl gear only for 2012. Table 3 lists the final 2012 trawl allocation of
  sablefish TACs.
\5\ ``Deep-water flatfish'' means Dover sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, and deepsea sole.
\6\ ``Shallow-water flatfish'' means flatfish not including ``deep-water flatfish,'' flathead sole, rex sole, or
  arrowtooth flounder.
\7\ ``Pacific ocean perch'' means Sebastes alutus.
\8\ ``Northern rockfish'' means Sebastes polyspinous. For management purposes the 2 mt apportionment of ABC to
  the WYK District of the Eastern Gulf of Alaska has been included in the slope rockfish species group.
\9\ ``Slope rockfish'' means Sebastes aurora (aurora), S. melanostomus (blackgill), S. paucispinis (bocaccio),
  S. goodei (chilipepper), S. crameri (darkblotch), S. elongatus (greenstriped), S. variegatus (harlequin), S.
  wilsoni (pygmy), S. babcocki (redbanded), S. proriger (redstripe), S. zacentrus (sharpchin), S. jordani
  (shortbelly), S. brevispinis (silvergrey), S. diploproa (splitnose), S. saxicola (stripetail), S. miniatus
  (vermilion), and S. reedi (yellowmouth). In the Eastern GOA only, slope rockfish also includes northern
  rockfish, S. polyspinous.
\10\ ``Rougheye rockfish'' means Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted).
\11\ ``Shortraker rockfish'' means Sebastes borealis.
\12\ ``Other rockfish'' in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas and in the West Yakutat District means slope
  rockfish and demersal shelf rockfish. The ``other rockfish'' species group in the SEO District means slope
  rockfish.
\13\ ``Pelagic shelf rockfish'' means, S. variabilis (dusky), S. entomelas (widow), and S. flavidus
  (yellowtail).
\14\ ``Demersal shelf rockfish'' means Sebastes pinniger (canary), S. nebulosus (china), S. caurinus (copper),
  S. maliger (quillback), S. helvomaculatus (rosethorn), S. nigrocinctus (tiger), and S. ruberrimus (yelloweye).
\15\ ``Big skate'' means Raja binoculata.
\16\ ``Longnose skate'' means Raja rhina.
\17\ ``Other skates'' means Bathyraja spp.


[[Page 11119]]

Apportionment of Reserves

    Section 679.20(b)(2) requires NMFS to set aside 20 percent of each 
TAC for pollock, Pacific cod, flatfish, squids, sharks, octopuses, and 
sculpins in reserves for possible apportionment at a later date during 
the fishing year. In 2010, NMFS reapportioned all the reserves in the 
final harvest specifications. For 2011 and 2012, NMFS proposed 
reapportionment of all the reserves in the proposed 2011 and 2012 
harvest specifications published in the Federal Register on December 8, 
2010 (75 FR 76352). NMFS did not receive any public comments on the 
proposed reapportionments. For the final 2011 and 2012 harvest 
specifications, NMFS reapportioned, as proposed, all the reserves for 
pollock, Pacific cod, flatfish, squids, sharks, octopuses, and 
sculpins. Specifications of TAC shown in Tables 1 and 2 reflect 
reapportionment of reserve amounts for these species and species 
groups.

Allocations of the Sablefish TAC Amounts to Vessels Using Hook-and-Line 
and Trawl Gear

    Section 679.20(a)(4)(i) and (ii) require allocations of sablefish 
TACs for each of the regulatory areas and districts to hook-and-line 
and trawl gear. In the Western and Central Regulatory Areas, 80 percent 
of each TAC is allocated to hook-and-line gear, and 20 percent of each 
TAC is allocated to trawl gear. In the Eastern Regulatory Area, 95 
percent of the TAC is allocated to hook-and-line gear, and five percent 
is allocated to trawl gear. The trawl gear allocation in the Eastern 
Regulatory Area may only be used to support incidental catch of 
sablefish in directed fisheries for other target species (Sec.  
679.20(a)(4)(i)). In recognition of the trawl ban in the SEO District 
of the Eastern Regulatory Area, the Council recommended allocating five 
percent of the combined Eastern Regulatory Area sablefish TAC to trawl 
gear in the WYK District and making the remainder of the WYK sablefish 
TAC available to vessels using hook-and-line gear. NMFS concurs with 
the Council's recommendation, and, as a result, allocates 100 percent 
of the sablefish TAC in the SEO District to vessels using hook-and-line 
gear. This recommendation results in an allocation of 247 mt to trawl 
gear and 1,744 mt to hook-and-line gear in the WYK District in 2011, an 
allocation of 2,940 mt to hook-and-line gear in the SEO District in 
2011, and 226 mt to trawl gear in the WYK District in 2012. Table 3 
lists the allocations of the 2011 sablefish TACs to hook-and-line and 
trawl gear. Table 4 lists the allocations of the 2012 sablefish TACs to 
trawl gear.
    The Council recommended that the hook-and-line sablefish TAC be 
established annually to ensure that this Individual Fishery Quota (IFQ) 
fishery is conducted concurrent with the halibut IFQ fishery and is 
based on the most recent sablefish survey information. The Council also 
recommended that only a trawl sablefish TAC be established for two 
years so that retention of incidental catch of sablefish by trawl gear 
could commence in January in the second year of the groundfish harvest 
specifications. However, since there is an annual assessment for 
sablefish and the final harvest specifications are expected to be 
published before the IFQ season begins (typically, early March), the 
Council recommended that the hook-and-line sablefish TAC be set on an 
annual basis, rather than for two years, so that the best and most 
recent scientific information could be considered in establishing the 
sablefish ABCs and TACs. Since sablefish is on bycatch status for trawl 
gear during the entire fishing year, and given that fishing for 
groundfish is prohibited prior to January 20, it is not likely that the 
trawl allocation of sablefish would be reached before the effective 
date of the final harvest specifications.

   Table 3--Final 2011 Sablefish TAC Specifications in the GOA and Allocations to Hook-and-Line and Trawl Gear
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Hook-and-line       Trawl
                          Area/district                                 TAC         allocation      allocation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Western.........................................................           1,620           1,296             324
Central.........................................................           4,740           3,792             948
West Yakutat \1\................................................           1,990           1,744             247
Southeast Outside...............................................           2,940           2,940               0
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................          11,290           9,772           1,519
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The trawl allocation is based on allocating five percent of the combined Eastern Regulatory Area (West
  Yakutat and Southeast Outside combined) sablefish TAC to trawl gear in the West Yakutat District.


          Table 4--Final 2012 Sablefish TAC Specifications in the GOA and Allocation to Trawl Gear \1\
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Hook-and-line       Trawl
                          Area/district                                 TAC         allocation      allocation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Western.........................................................           1,484             n/a             297
Central.........................................................           4,343             n/a             869
West Yakutat \2\................................................           1,818             n/a             226
Southeast Outside...............................................           2,700             n/a               0
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................          10,345             n/a           1,391
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Council recommended that harvest specifications for the hook-and-line gear sablefish Individual Fishing
  Quota fisheries be limited to one year.
\2\ The trawl allocation is based on allocating five percent of the combined Eastern Regulatory Area (West
  Yakutat and Southeast Outside combined) sablefish TAC to trawl gear in the West Yakutat District.


[[Page 11120]]

Apportionments of Pollock TAC Among Seasons and Regulatory Areas, and 
Allocations for Processing by Inshore and Offshore Components

    In the GOA, pollock is apportioned by season and area, and is 
further allocated for processing by inshore and offshore components. 
Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B), the annual pollock TAC specified 
for the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA is apportioned 
into four equal seasonal allowances of 25 percent. As established by 
Sec.  679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), the A, B, C, and D season 
allowances are available from January 20 to March 10, March 10 to May 
31, August 25 to October 1, and October 1 to November 1, respectively.
    Pollock TACs in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA 
are apportioned among Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, pursuant to 
Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(A). In the A and B seasons, the apportionments 
are in proportion to the distribution of pollock biomass based on the 
four most recent NMFS winter surveys. In the C and D seasons, the 
apportionments are in proportion to the distribution of pollock biomass 
based on the four most recent NMFS summer surveys. For 2011 and 2012, 
the Council recommends, and NMFS approves, averaging the winter and 
summer distribution of pollock in the Central Regulatory Area for the A 
season. The average is intended to reflect the distribution of pollock 
and the performance of the fishery in the area during the A season for 
the 2011 and 2012 fishing years. During the A season, the apportionment 
is based on an adjusted estimate of the relative distribution of 
pollock biomass of approximately 23 percent, 56 percent, and 21 percent 
in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, respectively. During the B 
season, the apportionment is based on the relative distribution of 
pollock biomass at 23 percent, 67 percent, and 10 percent in 
Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, respectively. During the C and D 
seasons, the apportionment is based on the relative distribution of 
pollock biomass at 41 percent, 27 percent, and 32 percent in 
Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, respectively. Within any fishing 
year, the amount by which a seasonal allowance is underharvested or 
overharvested may be added to, or subtracted from, subsequent seasonal 
allowances in a manner to be determined by the Regional Administrator 
(Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B)). The rollover amount is limited to 20 
percent of the unharvested seasonal apportionment for the statistical 
area. Any unharvested pollock above the 20 percent limit could be 
further distributed to the other statistical areas, in proportion to 
the estimated biomass in the subsequent season in those statistical 
areas (Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B)). The pollock TACs in the WYK and SEO 
District of 2,339 mt and 9,245 mt, respectively, in 2011, and 3,024 mt 
and 9,245 mt, respectively, in 2012, are not allocated by season.
    Section 679.20(a)(6)(i) requires the allocation of 100 percent of 
the pollock TAC in all regulatory areas and all seasonal allowances to 
vessels catching pollock for processing by the inshore component after 
subtraction of amounts projected by the Regional Administrator to be 
caught by, or delivered to, the offshore component incidental to 
directed fishing for other groundfish species. Thus, the amount of 
pollock available for harvest by vessels harvesting pollock for 
processing by the offshore component is that amount that will be taken 
as incidental catch during directed fishing for groundfish species 
other than pollock, up to the maximum retainable amounts allowed by 
Sec.  679.20(e) and (f). At this time, these incidental catch amounts 
of pollock are unknown and will be determined during the fishing year 
during the course of fishing activities by the offshore component.
    Tables 5 and 6 list the seasonal biomass distribution of pollock in 
the Western and Central Regulatory Areas, area apportionments, and 
seasonal allowances. The amounts of pollock for processing by the 
inshore and offshore components are not shown.

 Table 5--Final 2011 Distribution of Pollock in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the GOA; Seasonal Biomass Distribution, Area Apportionments;
                                                          and Seasonal Allowances of Annual TAC
                                                     [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Season \1\                            Shumagin
                                                     Chirikof
                                                      Kodiak                 Total \2\
                                                    (Area 610)
                                                    (Area 620)
                                                    (Area 630)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A (Jan 20-Mar 10).......................           4,787        (22.62%)          11,896        (56.22%)           4,475        (21.15%)          21,159
B (Mar 10-May 31).......................           4,787        (22.62%)          14,232        (67.26%)           2,139        (10.11%)          21,158
C (Aug 25-Oct 1)........................           8,729        (41.25%)           5,618        (26.55%)           6,811        (32.19%)          21,158
D (Oct 1-Nov 1).........................           8,729        (41.25%)           5,618        (26.55%)           6,811        (32.19%)          21,158
                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Annual Total \3\....................          27,031  ..............          37,365  ..............          20,235  ..............          84,631
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ As established by Sec.   679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), the A, B, C, and D season allowances are available from January 20 to March 10, March 10 to
  May 31, August 25 to October 1, and October 1 to November 1, respectively. The amounts of pollock for processing by the inshore and offshore
  components are not shown in this table.
\2\ The WYK and SEO District pollock TACs are not allocated by season and are not included in the total pollock TACs shown in this table.
\3\ Seasonal apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


 Table 6--Final 2012 Distribution of Pollock in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the GOA; Seasonal Biomass Distribution, Area Apportionments;
                                                          and Seasonal Allowances of Annual TAC
                                                     [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Season \1\                            Shumagin
                                                     Chirikof
                                                      Kodiak                 Total \2\
                                                    (Area 610)
                                                    (Area 620)
                                                    (Area 630)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A (Jan 20-Mar 10).......................           6,186        (22.62%)          15,374        (56.22%)           5,783        (21.15%)          27,345
B (Mar 10-May 31).......................           6,185        (22.62%)          18,393        (67.26%)           2,765        (10.11%)          27,345
C (Aug 25-Oct 1)........................          11,280        (41.25%)           7,262        (26.55%)           8,803        (32.19%)          27,345
D (Oct 1-Nov 1).........................          11,280        (41.25%)           7,262        (26.55%)           8,803        (32.19%)          27,345
                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 11121]]

 
    Annual Total \3\....................          34,932  ..............          48,293  ..............          26,155  ..............         109,380
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ As established by Sec.   679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), the A, B, C, and D season allowances are available from January 20 to March 10, March 10 to
  May 31, August 25 to October 1, and October 1 to November 1, respectively. The amounts of pollock for processing by the inshore and offshore
  components are not shown in this table.
\2\ The WYK and SEO District pollock TACs are not allocated by season and are not included in the total pollock TACs shown in this table.
\3\ Seasonal apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

Seasonal Apportionments of Pacific Cod TAC and Allocations for 
Processing of Pacific Cod TAC Between Inshore and Offshore Components

    Pacific cod fishing is divided into two seasons in the Western and 
Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA. For hook-and-line, pot, and jig 
gear, the A season is January 1 through June 10, and the B season is 
September 1 through December 31. For trawl gear, the A season is 
January 20 through June 10, and the B season is September 1 through 
November 1 (Sec.  679.23(d)(3)(i)). After subtraction of incidental 
catch from the A season, 60 percent of the annual TAC will be available 
as a DFA during the A season for the inshore and offshore components. 
The remaining 40 percent of the annual TAC will be available for 
harvest during the B season. Under Sec.  679.20(a)(12)(ii), any overage 
or underage of the Pacific cod allowance from the A season may be 
subtracted from or added to the subsequent B season allowance.
    Section 679.20(a)(6)(ii) requires allocation of the TAC 
apportionments of Pacific cod in all regulatory areas to vessels 
catching Pacific cod for processing by the inshore and offshore 
components. Ninety percent of the Pacific cod TAC in each regulatory 
area is allocated to vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the 
inshore component. The remaining 10 percent of the TAC is allocated to 
vessels catching Pacific cod for processing by the offshore component. 
Tables 7 and 8 list the seasonal apportionments and allocations of the 
final 2011 and 2012 Pacific cod TACs, respectively.

  Table 7--Final 2011 Seasonal Apportionments and Allocation of Pacific Cod TAC Amounts in the GOA; Allocations
                              for Processing by the Inshore and Offshore Components
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                       Component allocation
                                                                                 -------------------------------
            Regulatory area                      Season                 TAC                          Offshore
                                                                                   Inshore (90%)       (10%)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Western...............................  Annual..................          22,785          20,507           2,279
                                        A season (60%)..........          13,671          12,304           1,367
                                        B season (40%)..........           9,114           8,203             911
Central...............................  Annual..................          40,362          36,326           4,036
                                        A season (60%)..........          24,217          21,795           2,422
                                        B season (40%)..........          16,145          14,530           1,614
Eastern...............................  Annual..................           1,953           1,758             195
                                        Total...................          65,100          58,590           6,510
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


  Table 8--Final 2012 Seasonal Apportionments and Allocation of Pacific Cod TAC Amounts in the GOA; Allocations
                              for Processing by the Inshore and Offshore Components
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                       Component allocation
            Regulatory area                      Season                 TAC      -------------------------------
                                                                                   Inshore (90%)  Offshore (10%)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Western...............................  Annual..................          20,528          18,475           2,053
                                        A season (60%)..........          12,317          11,085           1,232
                                        B season (40%)..........           8,211           7,390             821
Central...............................  Annual..................          36,363          32,727           3,636
                                        A season (60%)..........          21,818          19,636           2,182
                                        B season (40%)..........          14,545          13,091           1,455
Eastern...............................  Annual..................           1,759           1,583             176
                                        Total...................          58,650          52,785           5,865
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR)

    The recommended 2011 and 2012 DSR TAC is 300 mt. Management of DSR 
is delegated to the State. In 2006, the Alaska Board of Fish allocated 
future SEO District DSR TACs between the commercial fishery (84 
percent) and the sport fishery (16 percent) after deductions were made 
for anticipated subsistence harvests (8 mt). This results in 2011 and 
2012 allocations of 245 mt to the commercial fishery and 47 mt to the 
sport fishery. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) deducts 
estimates of incidental catch of DSR in the commercial halibut fishery 
and test fishery mortality from the DSR commercial fishery allocation. 
In 2010,

[[Page 11122]]

this resulted in 100 mt being available for the directed commercial DSR 
fishery apportioned between four outer coast areas. Only one of these 
areas, the South Southeast Outside area was open to directed commercial 
fishery with a GHL of 30 mt and a harvest of 30 mt. DSR harvest in the 
halibut fishery is linked to the halibut quota; therefore the ADF&G 
cannot estimate potential DSR incidental catch in that fishery until 
those quotas are established. Federally permitted catcher vessels using 
hook-and-line or jig gear fishing for groundfish and Pacific halibut in 
the SEO District of the GOA are required to retain all DSR (Sec.  
679.20(j)). The ADF&G will announce the opening of directed fishing for 
DSR in 2011 in January following the International Pacific Halibut 
Commission's (IPHC) January 2011 annual meeting.

Apportionments to the Central GOA Rockfish Pilot Program

    Section 679.81(a)(1) and (2) require the allocation of the primary 
rockfish species TACs in the Central Regulatory Area, after deducting 
incidental catch needs in other directed groundfish fisheries, to 
participants in the Rockfish Program. Five percent (2.5 percent to 
trawl gear and 2.5 percent to fixed gear) of the final TACs for Pacific 
ocean perch, northern rockfish, and pelagic shelf rockfish in the 
Central Regulatory Area are allocated to the entry level rockfish 
fishery; the remaining 95 percent are allocated to those vessels 
eligible to participate in the Rockfish Program. The Rockfish Program 
will expire in December 2011, although the Council has proposed a new 
program to supersede the existing Rockfish Program by 2012. NMFS is 
developing a proposed rule to implement the Council's revised program 
and anticipates that it will be published in the Federal Register for 
public review and comment early in 2011.
    In 2011, NMFS is setting aside incidental catch amounts (ICAs) of 
500 mt of Pacific ocean perch, 100 mt of northern rockfish, and 100 mt 
of pelagic shelf rockfish for other directed fisheries in the Central 
Regulatory Area. These amounts are based on recent average incidental 
catch in the Central Regulatory Area by these other groundfish 
fisheries.
    Section 679.83(a)(1)(i) requires that allocations to the trawl 
entry level fishery must be made first from the allocation of Pacific 
ocean perch available to the rockfish entry level fishery. If the 
amount of Pacific ocean perch available for allocation is less than the 
total allocation allowable for trawl catcher vessels in the rockfish 
entry level fishery, then northern rockfish and pelagic shelf rockfish 
must be allocated to trawl catcher vessels. Allocations of Pacific 
ocean perch, northern rockfish, and pelagic shelf rockfish to longline 
catcher vessels must be made after the allocations to trawl gear.
    Table 9 lists the final 2011 allocations of rockfish in the Central 
GOA to trawl and longline gear in the entry level rockfish fishery. 
Allocations of primary rockfish species TACs among participants in the 
Rockfish Program are not included in the final harvest specifications 
because applications for catcher/processor and catcher vessel 
cooperatives are due to NMFS on March 1 of each calendar year, thereby 
preventing NMFS from calculating final 2011 allocations. NMFS will post 
these allocations on the Alaska Region Web site (http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/goarat/default.htm) when 
they become available

      Table 9--Final 2011 Allocations of Rockfish in the Central Gulf of Alaska to Trawl and Longline Gear \1\ in the Entry-Level Rockfish Fishery
                                                     [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Incidental                                                      Entry-level     Entry-level
                 Species                        TAC            catch       TAC minus ICA      5% TAC         2.5% TAC          trawl         longline
                                                             allowance                                                      allocation      allocation
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch.....................          10,379             500           9,879             494             247             375             119
Northern rockfish.......................           2,281             100           2,181             109              55               0             109
Pelagic shelf rockfish..................           3,052             100           2,952             148              74               0             148
                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...............................          15,712             700          15,012             751             375             375             375
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Longline gear includes jig and hook-and-line gear.

in March 2011.Halibut PSC Limits

    Section 679.21(d) establishes the annual halibut PSC limit 
apportionments to trawl and hook-and-line gear and permits the 
establishment of apportionments for pot gear. In December 2010, the 
Council recommended that NMFS maintain the 2010 halibut PSC limits of 
2,000 mt for the trawl fisheries and 300 mt for the hook-and-line 
fisheries for the 2011 and 2012 groundfish fisheries. Ten mt of the 
hook-and-line limit is further allocated to the DSR fishery in the SEO 
District. The DSR fishery is defined at Sec.  679.21(d)(4)(iii)(A). 
This fishery has been apportioned 10 mt in recognition of its small-
scale harvests. Most vessels in the DSR fishery are less than 60 ft 
(18.3 m) length overall and are exempt from observer coverage. 
Therefore, observer data are not available to verify actual bycatch 
amounts. NMFS estimates low halibut bycatch in the DSR fishery because: 
The duration of the DSR fisheries and the gear soak times are short; 
the DSR fishery occurs in the winter when less overlap occurs in the 
distribution of DSR and halibut; and, the directed commercial DSR 
fishery has a low DSR TAC. Of the 295 mt TAC for DSR in 2010, 100 mt 
was available for the commercial fishery, of which 30 mt were 
harvested.
    The FMP authorizes the Council to exempt specific gear from the 
halibut PSC limits. NMFS, after consultation with the Council, exempts 
pot gear, jig gear, and the sablefish IFQ hook-and-line gear fishery 
from the non-trawl halibut limit for 2011 and 2012. The Council 
recommended these exemptions because (1) the pot gear fisheries have 
low annual halibut bycatch mortality (averaging 19 mt annually from 
2001 through 2010); (2) IFQ program regulations prohibit discard of 
halibut if any halibut IFQ permit holder on board a catcher vessel 
holds unused halibut IFQ (Sec.  679.7(f)(11)); sablefish IFQ fishermen 
typically hold halibut IFQ permits and are therefore required to retain 
the halibut they catch while fishing sablefish IFQ; and (3) NMFS 
estimates negligible halibut mortality for the jig gear fisheries. NMFS 
estimates that halibut mortality is negligible in the jig gear 
fisheries given the small amount of groundfish harvested by jig gear

[[Page 11123]]

(averaging 275 mt annually from 2001 through 2010), the selective 
nature of jig gear, and the high survival rates of halibut caught (and 
subsequently released) with jig gear.
    Section 679.21(d)(5) authorizes NMFS to seasonally apportion the 
halibut PSC limits after consultation with the Council. The FMP and 
regulations require the Council and NMFS to consider the following 
information in seasonally apportioning halibut PSC limits: (1) Seasonal 
distribution of halibut, (2) seasonal distribution of target groundfish 
species relative to halibut distribution, (3) expected halibut bycatch 
needs on a seasonal basis relative to changes in halibut biomass and 
expected catch of target groundfish species, (4) expected bycatch rates 
on a seasonal basis, (5) expected changes in directed groundfish 
fishing seasons, (6) expected actual start of fishing effort, and (7) 
economic effects of establishing seasonal halibut allocations on 
segments of the target groundfish industry. The Council obtained the 
information it considered when setting the halibut PSC limits from the 
2010 SAFE report, NMFS catch data, ADF&G catch data, IPHC stock 
assessment and mortality data, and public testimony.
    NMFS concurs in the Council's recommendations listed in Table 10, 
which shows the final 2011 and 2012 Pacific halibut PSC limits, 
allowances, and apportionments. Sections 679.21(d)(5)(iii) and (iv) 
specify that any underages or overages of a seasonal apportionment of a 
PSC limit will be deducted from or added to the next respective 
seasonal apportionment within the fishing year.

                                Table 10--Final 2011 and 2012 Pacific Halibut PSC Limits, Allowances, and Apportionments
                                                               [Values are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Trawl gear                                                             Hook-and-line gear \1\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                 Other than DSR                                     DSR
                  Season                    Percent    Amount  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                           Season              Percent   Amount              Season              Amount
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 20-April 1.......................       27.5       550  January 1-June 10...........        86       250  January 1-December 31.......        10
April 1-July 1...........................       20         400  June 10-September 1.........         2         5
July 1-September 1.......................       30         600  September 1-December 31.....        12        35
September 1-October 1....................        7.5       150
October 1-December 31....................       15         300
                                                     ----------                                        ----------                              ---------
    Total................................                2,000                                               290                                      10
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific halibut PSC limit for hook-and-line gear is allocated to the DSR fishery and fisheries other than DSR. The hook-and-line sablefish
  fishery is exempt from halibut PSC limits.

    Section 679.21(d)(3)(ii) authorizes further apportionment of the 
trawl halibut PSC limit to trawl fishery categories. The annual 
apportionments are based on each category's proportional share of the 
anticipated halibut bycatch mortality during the fishing year and 
optimization of the total amount of groundfish harvest under the 
halibut PSC limit. The fishery categories for the trawl halibut PSC 
limits are (1) a deep-water species category, comprised of sablefish, 
rockfish, deep-water flatfish, rex sole, and arrowtooth flounder; and 
(2) a shallow-water species category, comprised of pollock, Pacific 
cod, shallow-water flatfish, flathead sole, Atka mackerel, skates, and 
``other species'' (Sec.  679.21(d)(3)(iii)). Table 11 lists the final 
2011 and 2012 apportionments of Pacific halibut PSC trawl limits 
between the trawl gear deep-water and the shallow-water species 
complexes.

  Table 11--Final 2011 and 2012 Apportionment of Pacific Halibut PSC Trawl Limits Between the Trawl Gear Deep-
                           Water Species Complex and the Shallow-Water Species Complex
                                           [Values are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Season                     Shallow-water             Deep-water \1\                 Total
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 20-April 1.........................             450  100................................             550
April 1-July 1.............................             100  300................................             400
July 1-September 1.........................             200  400................................             600
September 1-October 1......................             150  Any remainder......................             150
                                            --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Subtotal January 20-October 1..........             900  800................................           1,700
October 1-December 31 \2\..................  ..............  ...................................             300
                                            --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total..................................  ..............  ...................................           2,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Vessels participating in cooperatives in the Central GOA Rockfish Program will receive a portion of the
  third season (July 1-September 1) deep-water category halibut PSC apportionment. This amount is not currently
  known but will be posted later on the Alaska Region Web site (http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov) when it becomes
  available.
\2\ There is no apportionment between shallow-water and deep-water trawl fishery categories during the fifth
  season (October 1-December 31).

Estimated Halibut Bycatch in Prior Years

    The best available information on estimated halibut bycatch was 
data collected by observers during 2010. The calculated halibut bycatch 
mortality by trawl and hook-and-line gears in 2010 is 1,637 mt and 232 
mt, respectively, for a total halibut mortality of 1,869 mt. This 
mortality was calculated using groundfish and halibut catch data from 
the NMFS Alaska Region's catch

[[Page 11124]]

accounting system. This system contains historical and recent catch 
information compiled from each Alaska groundfish fishery.
    Halibut bycatch restrictions seasonally constrained trawl gear 
fisheries during the 2010 fishing year. Table 12 displays the closure 
dates for fisheries that resulted from the attainment of seasonal or 
annual halibut PSC limits. NMFS does not know the amount of groundfish 
that trawl gear might have harvested if halibut PSC limits had not 
restricted some 2010 GOA groundfish fisheries. The hook-and-line 
fishery category was not constrained by halibut bycatch during 2010.

                 Table 12--2010 Fishery Closures Due to Attainment of Pacific Halibut PSC Limits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Fishery category                Opening date            Closure date        Federal Register citation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trawl Deep-water, season 1.........  January 20, 2010......  April 28, 2010........  75 FR 23189, May 3, 2010.
Trawl Shallow-water, season 4......  September 1, 2010.....  September 3, 2010.....  75 FR 54290, September 7,
                                                                                      2010.
Trawl Shallow-water, season 4......  September 11, 2010....  October 1, 2010.......  75 FR 56017, September 15,
                                                                                      2010.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Current Estimates of Halibut Biomass and Stock Condition

    The most recent halibut stock assessment was developed by the IPHC 
staff in December 2010 for the 2011 commercial fishery; this assessment 
was considered by the IPHC at its annual January 2011 meeting. Since 
2006, the IPHC stock assessment has been fitted to a coastwide data set 
(including the United States and Canada) to estimate total exploitable 
biomass. Coastwide exploitable biomass at the beginning of 2011 is 
estimated to be 317 million pounds (143,790 mt), down from 334 million 
pounds (151,500 mt) in 2010. The coastwide exploitable biomass was 
apportioned among regulatory areas in accordance with survey estimates 
of relative abundance and other considerations.
    The halibut resource is fully utilized. Recent catches in the 
commercial halibut fisheries in Alaska over the last 17 years (1994-
2010) have averaged 32,336 mt round weight per year. In December 2010, 
IPHC staff recommended Alaska commercial catch limits totaling 19,662 
mt round weight for 2011, a 21 percent decrease from 25,008 mt in 2010. 
Through December 31, 2010, commercial hook-and-line harvests of halibut 
off Alaska totaled 24,095 mt round weight.
    The IPHC and its staff have expressed concerns that the IPHC's Slow 
Up-Fast Down (SUFD) harvest policy adjustments--which applied a policy 
of a 33 percent increase from the previous year's catch limit and a 50 
percent decrease in recommended catch--have not achieved target harvest 
rate goals due to continued stock declines, decreases in halibut growth 
rate, and a recent history of high exploitation rates in some areas. 
The IPHC staff has recommended the SUFD policy be modified to a ``Slow 
Up-Full Down (SUFullD)'' policy to achieve the necessary reductions in 
harvest rate and promote increases in exploitable biomass. The SUFullD 
policy incorporates the existing policy of a 33 percent increase from 
the previous year's catch limits when stock yields are expected to 
increase but would use a 100 percent decrease in recommended catch when 
stock yields are projected to decrease.
    The largest decreases in the 2011 catch limit recommendations in 
Alaska are for Area 2C, down from 2,661 mt round weight in 2010 to 
1,409 mt round weight in 2011 (the decline is primarily the result of 
the application of the SUFullD harvest policy adjustment), and, for 
Areas 3A and 3B, down from 18,077 mt round weight in 2010 to 13,233 mt 
round weight in 2011 (the decline is primarily due to a decline in 
estimated exploitable biomass).
    Additional information on the Pacific halibut stock assessment may 
be found in the IPHC's 2010 Pacific halibut stock assessment (December 
2010), available on the IPHC Web site at http://www.iphc.washington.edu. The IPHC considered the 2010 Pacific halibut 
assessment for 2011 at its January 2011 annual meeting when it set the 
2011 commercial halibut fishery catch limits.
    The proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications (75 FR 76352, 
December 8, 2010) discuss potential impacts of expected fishing for 
groundfish on halibut stocks, as well as methods available for reducing 
halibut bycatch in the groundfish fisheries.

Halibut Discard Mortality Rates

    The Council recommended that the halibut discard mortality rates 
(DMRs) developed and recommended by the IPHC for the 2010 through 2012 
GOA groundfish fisheries be used to monitor the 2011 and 2012 GOA 
halibut bycatch mortality allowances. The IPHC will analyze observer 
data annually and recommend changes to the DMRs when a DMR shows large 
variation from the mean. Most of the IPHCs assumed DMRs were based on 
an average of mortality rates determined from NMFS observer data 
collected between 1999 and 2008. Long-term average DMRs were not 
available for some fisheries (for example, the deepwater flatfish 
fishery has not been prosecuted in recent years), so the IPHC used the 
average rates from the available years between 1999 and 2008. For other 
fisheries targets (which include Atka mackerel, skates, squids, sharks, 
octopuses, and sculpins for all gear types; and for the hook-and-line 
sablefish targets), where no data mortality was available, the IPHC 
recommended the mortality rate of halibut caught in the Pacific cod 
fishery for that gear type as a default rate. Table 13 lists the final 
GOA halibut DMRs for 2011 and 2012. These DMRs are unchanged from the 
proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications (75 FR 76352, December 8, 
2010). A discussion of the DMRs and their justification is presented in 
Appendix 2 to the 2010 SAFE report (see ADDRESSES).

  Table 13--Final 2011 and 2012 Halibut DMRs for Vessels Fishing in the
                                   GOA
       [Values are percent of halibut bycatch assumed to be dead]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Final 2011 and
               Gear                    Target fishery     2012 mortality
                                                             rate (%)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hook-and-line.....................  Other fisheries\1\..              12
                                    Pacific cod.........              12
                                    Rockfish............               9

[[Page 11125]]

 
Trawl.............................  Arrowtooth flounder.              72
                                    Deep-water flatfish.              48
                                    Flathead sole.......              65
                                    Non-pelagic pollock.              59
                                    Other fisheries\1\..              62
                                    Pacific cod.........              62
                                    Pelagic pollock.....              76
                                    Rex sole............              64
                                    Rockfish............              67
                                    Sablefish...........              65
                                    Shallow-water                     71
                                     flatfish.
Pot...............................  Other fisheries\1\..              17
                                    Pacific cod.........              17
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Other fisheries include all gear types for Atka mackerel, skates,
  squid, sharks, octopuses, sculpins, and hook-and-line sablefish.

American Fisheries Act (AFA) Catcher/Processor (C/P) and Catcher Vessel 
(CV) Groundfish Harvest and PSC Limits

    Section 679.64 establishes groundfish harvesting and processing 
sideboard limitations on AFA C/Ps and CVs in the GOA. These sideboard 
limits are necessary to protect the interests of fishermen and 
processors, who do not directly benefit from the AFA, from those 
fishermen and processors who receive exclusive harvesting and 
processing privileges under the AFA. Section 679.7(k)(1)(ii) prohibits 
listed AFA C/Ps from harvesting any species of groundfish in the GOA. 
Additionally, Sec.  679.7(k)(1)(iv) prohibits listed AFA C/Ps from 
harvesting any species of groundfish in the GOA. Furthermore, Sec.  
679.7(k)(1)(iv) prohibits listed AFA C/Ps from processing any pollock 
harvested in a directed pollock fishery in the GOA and any groundfish 
harvested in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA.
    AFA CVs that are less than 125 ft (38.1 m) length overall, have 
annual landings of pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands less 
than 5,100 mt, and have made at least 40 groundfish landings from 1995 
through 1997 are exempt from GOA sideboard limits under Sec.  
679.64(b)(2)(ii). Sideboard limits for non-exempt AFA CVs in the GOA 
are based on their traditional harvest levels of TAC in groundfish 
fisheries covered by the FMP. Section 679.64(b)(3)(iii) establishes the 
groundfish sideboard limitations in the GOA based on the retained catch 
of non-exempt AFA CVs of each sideboard species from 1995 through 1997 
divided by the TAC for that species over the same period. Tables 14 and 
15 list the final 2011 and 2012 non-exempt AFA CV groundfish sideboard 
limits. NMFS will deduct all targeted or incidental catch of sideboard 
species made by non-exempt AFA CVs from the sideboard limits specified 
in Tables 14 and 15.

               Table 14--Final 2011 GOA Non-Exempt AFA CV Groundfish Harvest Sideboard Limitations
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Ratio of
                                                                            1995-1997                 2011 non-
                                                                            non-exempt                exempt AFA
             Species               Apportionments by     Area/component       AFA CV      2011 TAC        CV
                                      season/gear                            catch to                 sideboard
                                                                            1995-1997                   limit
                                                                               TAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock.........................  A Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.6047        4,787        2,895
                                  January 20-March 10  Chirikof (620)....       0.1167       11,896        1,388
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.2028        4,475          908
                                  B Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.6047        4,787        2,895
                                  March 10-May 31      Chirikof (620)....       0.1167       14,232        1,661
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.2028        2,139          434
                                  C Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.6047        8,729        5,278
                                  August 25-October 1  Chirikof (620)....       0.1167        5,618          656
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.2028        6,811        1,381
                                  D Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.6047        8,729        5,278
                                  October 1-November   Chirikof (620)....       0.1167        5,618          656
                                   1
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.2028        6,811        1,381
                                  Annual.............  WYK (640).........       0.3495        2,339          817
                                                       SEO (650).........       0.3495        9,245        3,231
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod.....................  A Season \1\.......  W inshore.........       0.1365       12,303        1,679
                                  January 1-June 10    W offshore........       0.1026        1,367          140
                                                       C inshore.........       0.0689       21,795        1,502
                                                       C offshore........       0.0721        2,422          175
                                  B Season \2\.......  W inshore.........       0.1365        8,202        1,120
                                  September 1--        W offshore........       0.1026          911           94
                                   December 31

[[Page 11126]]

 
                                                       C inshore.........       0.0689       14,530        1,001
                                                       C offshore........       0.0721        1,614          116
                                  Annual.............  E inshore.........       0.0079        1,758           14
                                                       E offshore........       0.0078          195            2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish.......................  Annual, trawl gear.  W.................       0.0000          334            0
                                                       C.................       0.0642          948           61
                                                       E.................       0.0433          247           11
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flatfish, Shallow-water.........  Annual.............  W.................       0.0156        4,500           70
                                                       C.................       0.0587       13,000          763
                                                       E.................       0.0126        1,228           15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flatfish, deep-water............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0000          529            0
                                                       C.................       0.0647        2,919          189
                                                       E.................       0.0128        2,083           27
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rex sole........................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0007        1,517            1
                                                       C.................       0.0384        6,294          242
                                                       E.................       0.0029          868            3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arrowtooth flounder.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0021        8,000           17
                                                       C.................       0.0280       30,000          840
                                                       E.................       0.0002        2,500            1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flathead sole...................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0036        2,000            7
                                                       C.................       0.0213        5,000          107
                                                       E.................       0.0009        2,064            2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0023        2,798            6
                                                       C.................       0.0748       10,379          776
                                                       E.................       0.0466        1,937           90
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Northern rockfish...............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0003        2,573            1
                                                       C.................       0.0277        2,281           63
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shortraker rockfish.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0000          134            0
                                                       C.................       0.0218          325            7
                                                       E.................       0.0100          455            5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other rockfish..................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0034          212            1
                                                       C.................       0.1699          507           86
                                                       E.................       0.0000          276            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pelagic shelf rockfish..........  Annual.............  W.................       0.0001          611            0
                                                       C.................       0.0000        3,052            0
                                                       E.................       0.0067          407            3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rougheye rockfish...............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0000           81            0
                                                       C.................       0.0237          868           21
                                                       E.................       0.0124          363            5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Demersal shelf rockfish.........  Annual.............  SEO...............       0.0020          300            1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thornyhead rockfish.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0280          425           12
                                                       C.................       0.0280          637           18
                                                       E.................       0.0280          708           20
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atka mackerel...................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0309        2,000           62
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Big skates......................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0063          598            4
                                                       C.................       0.0063        2,049           13
                                                       E.................       0.0063          681            4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Longnose skates................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0063           81            1
                                                       C.................       0.0063        2,009           13

[[Page 11127]]

 
                                                       E.................       0.0063          762            5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other skates....................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0063        2,093           13
Squids..........................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0063        1,148            7
Sharks..........................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0063        6,197           39
Octopuses.......................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0063          954            6
Sculpins........................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0063        5,496           35
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.


               Table 15--Final 2012 GOA Non-Exempt AFA CV Groundfish Harvest Sideboard Limitations
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Ratio of
                                                                            1995-1997                 2012 non-
                                                                            non-exempt                exempt AFA
             Species               Apportionments by     Area/component       AFA CV      2012 TAC        CV
                                      season/gear                            catch to                 sideboard
                                                                            1995-1997                   limit
                                                                               TAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Pollock                          A Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.6047        6,186        3,741
                                  January 20-March 10  Chirikof (620)....       0.1167       15,374        1,794
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.2028        5,783        1,173
                                  B Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.6047        6,185        3,740
                                  March 10-May 31      Chirikof (620)....       0.1167       18,392        2,146
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.2028        2,765          561
                                  C Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.6047       11,280        6,821
                                  August 25-October 1  Chirikof (620)....       0.1167        7,262          847
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.2028        8,803        1,785
                                  D Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.6047       11,280        6,821
                                  October 1-November   Chirikof (620)....       0.1167        7,262          847
                                   1
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.2028        8,803        1,785
                                  Annual.............  WYK (640).........       0.3495        3,024        1,057
                                                       SEO (650).........       0.3495        9,245        3,231
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod.....................  A Season \1\.......  W inshore.........       0.1365       18,475        2,522
                                  January 1-June 10    W offshore........       0.1026        2,053          211
                                                       C inshore.........       0.0689       19,636        1,353
                                                       C offshore........       0.0721        2,182          157
                                  B Season \2\.......  W inshore.........       0.1365        7,390        1,009
                                  September 1-         W offshore........       0.1026          821           84
                                   December 31
                                                       C inshore.........       0.0689       13,091          902
                                                       C offshore........       0.0721        1,455          105
                                  Annual.............  E inshore.........       0.0079        1,583           13
                                                       E offshore........       0.0078          176            1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish.......................  Annual, trawl gear.  W.................       0.0000          297            0
                                                       C.................       0.0642          869           56
                                                       E.................       0.0433          226           10
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flatfish, Shallow-water.........  Annual.............  W.................       0.0156        4,500           70
                                                       C.................       0.0587       13,000          763
                                                       E.................       0.0126        1,228           15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flatfish, deep-water............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0000          541            0
                                                       C.................       0.0647        3,004          194
                                                       E.................       0.0128        2,144           27
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rex sole........................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0007        1,490            1
                                                       C.................       0.0384        6,184          237
                                                       E.................       0.0029          853            2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arrowtooth flounder.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0021        8,000           17
                                                       C.................       0.0280       30,000          840

[[Page 11128]]

 
                                                       E.................       0.0002        2,500            1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flathead sole...................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0036        2,000            7
                                                       C.................       0.0213        5,000          107
                                                       E.................       0.0009        2,125            2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0023        2,665            6
                                                       C.................       0.0748        9,884          739
                                                       E.................       0.0466        1,845           86
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Northern rockfish...............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0003        2,446            1
                                                       C.................       0.0277        2,168           60
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shortraker rockfish.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0000          134            0
                                                       C.................       0.0218          325            7
                                                       E.................       0.0100          455            5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other rockfish..................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0034          212            0
                                                       C.................       0.1699          507           86
                                                       E.................       0.0000          475            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pelagic shelf rockfish..........  Annual.............  W.................       0.0001          570            0
                                                       C.................       0.0000        2,850            0
                                                       E.................       0.0067          380            3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rougheye rockfish...............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0000           81            0
                                                       C.................       0.0237          868           21
                                                       E.................       0.0124          363            5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Demersal shelf rockfish.........  Annual.............  SEO...............       0.0020          300            1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thornyhead rockfish.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0280          425           12
                                                       C.................       0.0280          637           18
                                                       E.................       0.0280          708           20
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atka mackerel...................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0309        2,000           62
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Big skates......................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0063          598            4
                                                       C.................       0.0063        2,049           13
                                                       E.................       0.0063          681            4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Longnose skates.................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0063           81            0
                                                       C.................       0.0063        2,009           13
                                                       E.................       0.0063          762            5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other skates....................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0063        2,093           13
Squids..........................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0063        1,148            7
Sharks..........................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0063        6,197           39
Octopuses.......................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0063          954            6
Sculpins........................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0063        5,496           35
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.

Non-Exempt AFA Catcher Vessel Halibut PSC Limits

    The halibut PSC sideboard limits for non-exempt AFA CVs in the GOA 
are based on the aggregate retained groundfish catch by non-exempt AFA 
CVs in each PSC target category from 1995 through 1997 divided by the 
retained catch of all vessels in that fishery from 1995 through 1997 
(Sec.  679.64(b)(4)). Table 16 lists the final 2011 and 2012 non-exempt 
AFA CV halibut PSC limits for vessels using trawl gear in the GOA. 
These halibut PSC limits are unchanged from the proposed 2011 and 2012 
harvest specifications.

[[Page 11129]]



 Table 16--Final 2011 and 2012 Non-Exempt AFA CV Halibut Prohibited Species Catch (PSC) Limits for Vessels Using
                                              Trawl Gear in the GOA
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Ratio of 1995-
                                                          1997 non-exempt
                                                          AFA CV retained   2011 and 2012 PSC  2011 and 2012 non-
      Season           Season dates     Target fishery     catch to total         limit        exempt AFA CV PSC
                                                           retained catch                            limit
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.................  January 20-April   shallow-water...              0.340                450                153
                     1.
                                       deep-water......              0.070                100                  7
2.................  April 1-July 1...  shallow-water...              0.340                100                 34
                                       deep-water......              0.070                300                 21
3.................  July 1-September   shallow-water...              0.340                200                 68
                     1.
                                       deep-water......              0.070                400                 28
4.................  September 1-       shallow-water...              0.340                150                 51
                     October 1.
                                       deep-water......              0.070                  0                  0
5.................  October 1-         all targets.....              0.205                300                 62
                     December 31.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Non-AFA Crab Vessel Groundfish Harvest Limitations

    Section 680.22 establishes groundfish catch limits for vessels with 
a history of participation in the Bering Sea snow crab fishery to 
prevent these vessels from using the increased flexibility provided by 
the Crab Rationalization Program to expand their level of participation 
in the GOA groundfish fisheries. Sideboard limits restrict these 
vessels' catch to their collective historical landings in each GOA 
groundfish fishery (except the fixed-gear sablefish fishery). Sideboard 
limits also apply to catch made using a LLP license derived from the 
history of a restricted vessel, even if that LLP license is used on 
another vessel.
    Sideboard limits for non-AFA crab vessels in the GOA are based on 
their traditional harvest levels of TAC in groundfish fisheries covered 
by the FMP. Sections 680.22(d) and (e) establish the formulas used to 
calculate groundfish sideboard limitations in the GOA. These 
limitations are calculated by dividing the non-AFA crab vessels' 
retained catch for each sideboard species from 1996-2000 by the total 
retained harvest of that species over the same period. The resultant 
ratios are applied against annual TAC limits to establish annual 
sideboard limits for individual species. Tables 18 and 19 list these 
final 2011 and 2012 GOA groundfish sideboard limits for non-AFA crab 
vessels. NMFS will deduct all targeted or incidental catch of sideboard 
species made by non-AFA crab vessels from the sideboard limits 
specified in Tables 17 and 18. The sideboard limits in these tables are 
different from those contained in the proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest 
specifications, since the TACs in Tables 17 and 18 have been updated to 
reflect the final 2011 and 2012 TACs contained in Tables 1 and 2 of 
this rule.
    Vessels exempt from Pacific cod sideboards are those that landed 
less than 45,359 kilograms of Bering Sea snow crab and more than 500 mt 
of groundfish (in round weight equivalents) from the GOA between 
January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2000, and any vessel named on an LLP 
that was generated in whole or in part by the fishing history of a 
vessel meeting the criteria in Sec.  680.22(a)(3).

       Table 17--Final 2011 GOA Non-American Fisheries Act Crab Vessel Groundfish Harvest Sideboard Limits
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Ratio of
                                                                            1996-2000
                                                                             non-AFA                  2011 non-
                                                                           crab vessel                 AFA crab
             Species                  Season/gear        Area/component      catch to     2011 TAC      vessel
                                                                            1996-2000                 sideboard
                                                                              total                     limit
                                                                             harvest
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock.........................  A Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.0098        4,787           47
                                  January 20-March 10  Chirikof (620)....       0.0031       11,896           37
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.0002        4,475            1
                                  B Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.0098        4,787           47
                                  March 10-May 31      Chirikof (620)....       0.0031       14,232           44
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.0002        2,139            0
                                  C Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.0098        8,729           86
                                  August 25-October 1  Chirikof (620)....       0.0031        5,618           17
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.0002        6,811            1
                                  D Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.0098        8,729           86
                                  October 1-November   Chirikof (620)....       0.0031        5,618           17
                                   1
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.0002        6,811            1
                                  Annual.............  WYK (640).........       0.0000        2,339            0
                                                       SEO (650).........       0.0000        9,245            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod.....................  A Season \1\.......  W inshore.........       0.0902       12,303        1,110
                                  January 1-June 10    W offshore........       0.2046        1,367          280
                                                       C inshore.........       0.0383       21,795          835
                                                       C offshore........       0.2074        2,422          502

[[Page 11130]]

 
                                  B Season \2\.......  W inshore.........       0.0902        8,202          740
                                  September 1-         W offshore........       0.2046          911          186
                                   December 31
                                                       C inshore.........       0.0383       14,530          557
                                                       C offshore........       0.2074        1,614          335
                                  Annual.............  E inshore.........       0.0110        1,758           19
                                                       E offshore........       0.0000          195            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish.......................  Annual, trawl gear.  W.................       0.0000          334            0
                                                       C.................       0.0000          948            0
                                                       E.................       0.0000          247            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flatfish, shallow-water.........  Annual.............  W.................       0.0059        4,500           27
                                                       C.................       0.0001       13,000            1
                                                       E.................       0.0000        1,228            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flatfish, deep-water............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0035          529            2
                                                       C.................       0.0000        2,919            0
                                                       E.................       0.0000        2,083            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rex sole........................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0000        1,517            0
                                                       C.................       0.0000        6,294            0
                                                       E.................       0.0000          868            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arrowtooth flounder.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0004        8,000            3
                                                       C.................       0.0001       30,000            3
                                                       E.................       0.0000        2,500            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flathead sole...................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0002        2,000            0
                                                       C.................       0.0004        5,000            2
                                                       E.................       0.0000        2,064            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0000        2,798            0
                                                       C.................       0.0000       10,379            0
                                                       E.................       0.0000        1,937            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Northern rockfish...............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0005        2,573            1
                                                       C.................       0.0000        2,281            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shortraker rockfish.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0013          134            0
                                                       C.................       0.0012          325            0
                                                       E.................       0.0009          455            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other rockfish..................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0035          212            1
                                                       C.................       0.0033          507            2
                                                       E.................       0.0000          276            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pelagic shelf rockfish..........  Annual.............  W.................       0.0017          611            1
                                                       C.................       0.0000        3,052            0
                                                       E.................       0.0000          407            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rougheye rockfish...............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0067           81            1
                                                       C.................       0.0047          868            4
                                                       E.................       0.0008          363            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Demersal shelf rockfish.........  Annual.............  SEO...............       0.0000          300            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thornyhead rockfish.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0047          425            2
                                                       C.................       0.0066          637            4
                                                       E.................       0.0045          708            3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atka mackerel...................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0000        2,000            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Big skate.......................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0392          598           23
                                                       C.................       0.0159        2,049           33

[[Page 11131]]

 
                                                       E.................       0.0000          681            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Longnose skate..................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0392           81            3
                                                       C.................       0.0159        2,009           32
                                                       E.................       0.0000          762            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other skates....................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0176        2,093           37
Squids..........................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0176        1,148           20
Sharks..........................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0176        6,197          109
Octopuses.......................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0176          954           17
Sculpins........................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0176        5,496           97
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.


       Table 18--Final 2012 GOA Non-American Fisheries Act Crab Vessel Groundfish Harvest Sideboard Limits
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Ratio of
                                                                            1996-2000
                                                                             non-AFA                  2012 non-
                                                                           crab vessel                 AFA crab
             Species                  Season/gear        Area/component      catch to     2012 TAC      vessel
                                                                            1996-2000                 sideboard
                                                                              total                     limit
                                                                             harvest
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock.........................  A Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.0098        6,186           61
                                  January 20-March 10  Chirikof (620)....       0.0031       15,374           48
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.0002        5,783            1
                                  B Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.0098        6,185           61
                                  March 10-May 31      Chirikof (620)....       0.0031       18,393           57
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.0002        2,765            1
                                  C Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.0098       11,280          111
                                  August 25-October 1  Chirikof (620)....       0.0031        7,262           23
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.0002        8,803            2
                                  D Season...........  Shumagin (610)....       0.0098       11,280          111
                                  October 1-November   Chirikof (620)....       0.0031        7,262           23
                                   1
                                                       Kodiak (630)......       0.0002        8,803            2
                                  Annual.............  WYK (640).........       0.0000        3,024            0
                                                       SEO (650).........       0.0000        9,245            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod.....................  A Season \1\.......  W inshore.........       0.0902       11,085        1,000
                                  January 1-June 10    W offshore........       0.2046        1,232          252
                                                       C inshore.........       0.0383       19,636          752
                                                       C offshore........       0.2074        2,182          453
                                  B Season \2\.......  W inshore.........       0.0902        7,390          667
                                  September 1-         W offshore........       0.2046          821          168
                                   December 31
                                                       C inshore.........       0.0383       13,091          501
                                                       C offshore........       0.2074        1,455          302
                                  Annual.............  E inshore.........       0.0110        1,583           17
                                                       E offshore........       0.0000          176            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish.......................  Annual, trawl gear.  W.................       0.0000          297            0
                                                       C.................       0.0000          869            0
                                                       E.................       0.0000          226            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flatfish, shallow-water.........  Annual.............  W.................       0.0059        4,500           27
                                                       C.................       0.0001       13,000            1
                                                       E.................       0.0000        1,228            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flatfish, deep-water............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0035          541            2
                                                       C.................       0.0000        3,004            0
                                                       E.................       0.0000        2,144            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rex sole........................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0000        1,490            0

[[Page 11132]]

 
                                                       C.................       0.0000        6,184            0
                                                       E.................       0.0000          853            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arrowtooth flounder.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0004        8,000            3
                                                       C.................       0.0001       30,000            3
                                                       E.................       0.0000        2,500            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flathead sole...................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0002        2,000            0
                                                       C.................       0.0004        5,000            2
                                                       E.................       0.0000        2,125            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0000        2,665            0
                                                       C.................       0.0000        9,884            0
                                                       E.................       0.0000        1,845            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Northern rockfish...............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0005        2,446            1
                                                       C.................       0.0000        2,168            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shortraker rockfish.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0013          134            0
                                                       C.................       0.0012          325            0
                                                       E.................       0.0009          455            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other rockfish..................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0035          212            1
                                                       C.................       0.0033          507            2
                                                       E.................       0.0000          275            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pelagic shelf rockfish..........  Annual.............  W.................       0.0017          570            1
                                                       C.................       0.0000        2,850            0
                                                       E.................       0.0000          380            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rougheye shelf rockfish.........  Annual.............  W.................       0.0067           81            1
                                                       C.................       0.0047          868            4
                                                       E.................       0.0008          363            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Demersal shelf rockfish.........  Annual.............  SEO...............       0.0000          300            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thornyhead rockfish.............  Annual.............  W.................       0.0047          425            2
                                                       C.................       0.0066          637            4
                                                       E.................       0.0045          708            3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atka mackerel...................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0000        2,000            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Big skate.......................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0392          598           23
                                                       C.................       0.0159        2,049           33
                                                       E.................       0.0000          681            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Longnose skate..................  Annual.............  W.................       0.0392           81            3
                                                       C.................       0.0159        2,009           32
                                                       E.................       0.0000          762            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other skates....................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0176        2,093           37
Squids..........................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0176        1,148           20
Sharks..........................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0176        6,197          109
Octopuses.......................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0176          954           17
Sculpins........................  Annual.............  Gulfwide..........       0.0176        5,496           97
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.


[[Page 11133]]

Rockfish Program Groundfish Sideboard Limitations and Halibut Mortality 
Limitations

    Section 679.82(d) establishes sideboards to limit the ability of 
participants eligible for the Rockfish Program to harvest fish in 
fisheries other than the Central GOA rockfish fisheries. The Rockfish 
Program provides certain economic advantages, which could be used to 
increase their participation in other fisheries and possibly adversely 
affect the existing participants in those fisheries. Traditionally, the 
Central GOA rockfish fisheries opened in July. The sideboards are 
designed to restrict fishing during the historical season for the 
fishery, but allow eligible rockfish harvesters to participate in 
fisheries before or after the historical rockfish season.
    The final sideboards for 2011 limit the total amount of catch that 
could be taken by eligible harvesters and limit the amount of halibut 
mortality to historic levels. The sideboard measures are in effect only 
during the month of July. Table 19 lists the final 2011 Rockfish 
Program harvest limits in the WYK District and the Western GOA. These 
limits reflect the final 2011 pelagic shelf rockfish, Pacific ocean 
perch, and northern rockfish TACs established by this action, including 
some changes from the proposed 2011 harvest specifications. Table 20 
lists the final 2011 Rockfish Program halibut mortality limits for C/Ps 
and CVs. These mortality limits are unchanged from the proposed 2011 
harvest specifications.
    As discussed earlier in this preamble, the Rockfish Program will 
expire in December 2011. The Council has proposed a new, revised 
program and associated FMP amendment. NMFS is developing rulemaking to 
implement the program, if approved by the Secretary. The proposed rule 
and, if approved, the final rule for the new Rockfish Program will 
include revised groundfish sideboards and halibut mortality limits for 
2012. Since the current Rockfish Program expires at the end of 2011, 
these final harvest specifications for groundfish sideboards and 
halibut mortality limits are only for 2011.

 Table 19--Final 2011 Rockfish Program Harvest Limits by Sector for WYK District and Western Regulatory Area by
                           the Catcher/Processor (C/P) and Catcher Vessel (CV) Sectors
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              C/P     CV sector
               Area                        Fishery         sector (%    (% of     2011 TAC   2011 C/P   2011 CV
                                                            of TAC)      TAC)                 limit      limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
West Yakutat District.............  Pelagic shelf               72.4        1.7        407        295          7
                                     rockfish.
                                    Pacific ocean perch..       76.0        2.9      1,937      1,472         56
Western GOA.......................  Pelagic shelf               63.3          0        611        387          0
                                     rockfish.
                                    Pacific ocean perch..       61.1          0      2,798      1,710          0
                                    Northern rockfish....       78.9          0      2,573      2,030          0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


             Table 20--Final 2011 Rockfish Program Halibut Mortality Limits for the Catcher/Processor (C/P) and Catcher Vessel (CV) Sectors
                                                       [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                    Annual shallow-
                                                         Shallow-water        Deep-water        Annual halibut       water complex     Annual deep-water
                       Sector                           complex halibut     complex halibut     mortality limit       halibut PSC       complex halibut
                                                         PSC sideboard       PSC sideboard           (mt)           sideboard limit      PSC sideboard
                                                       ratio  (percent)    ratio  (percent)                              (mt)             limit  (mt)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
C/P.................................................                0.54                3.99               2,000                  11                  80
CV..................................................                6.32                1.08               2,000                 126                  22
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GOA Amendment 80 Vessel Groundfish Harvest and PSC Limits

    Amendment 80 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (Amendment 80 program) 
established a limited access privilege program for the non-AFA trawl C/
P sector. To limit the ability of participants eligible for the 
Amendment 80 program to expand their harvest efforts in the GOA, the 
Amendment 80 program established groundfish and halibut PSC catch 
limits for Amendment 80 program participants.
    Section 679.92 establishes groundfish harvesting sideboard limits 
on all Amendment 80 program vessels, other than the F/V GOLDEN FLEECE, 
to amounts no greater than the limits shown in Table 37 to 50 CFR part 
679. Under regulations at Sec.  679.92(d), the F/V GOLDEN FLEECE is 
prohibited from directed fishing for pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific 
ocean perch, pelagic shelf rockfish, and northern rockfish in the GOA. 
Groundfish sideboard limits for Amendment 80 program vessels operating 
in the GOA are based on their average aggregate harvests from 1998 to 
2004. Tables 21 and 22 list the final 2011 and 2012 sideboard limits 
for Amendment 80 program vessels. These limits are based on the final 
2011 and 2012 TACs established by this action, and thus may differ 
proportionately from the sideboard limits in the proposed 2011 and 2012 
harvest specifications. NMFS will deduct all targeted or incidental 
catch of sideboard species made by Amendment 80 program vessels from 
the sideboard limits in Tables 21 and 22.

[[Page 11134]]



              Table 21--Final 2011 GOA Groundfish Sideboard Limits for Amendment 80 Program Vessels
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Ratio of
                                                                            Amendment                    2011
                                   Apportionments and                       80 sector                 Amendment
             Species                 allocations by           Area           vessels      2011 TAC    80 vessel
                                         season                             1998-2004       (mt)      sideboards
                                                                             catch to                    (mt)
                                                                               TAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock.........................  A Season...........  Shumagin (610)....        0.003        4,786           14
                                  January 20-February  Chirikof (620)....        0.002       11,895           24
                                   25
                                                       Kodiak (630)......        0.002        4,475            9
                                  B Season...........  Shumagin (610)....        0.003        4,876           14
                                  March 10-May 31      Chirikof (620)....        0.002       14,231           28
                                                       Kodiak (630)......        0.002        2,139            4
                                  C Season...........  Shumagin (610)....        0.003        8,729           26
                                  August 25-September  Chirikof (620)....        0.002        5,619           11
                                   15
                                                       Kodiak (630)......        0.002        6,812           14
                                  D Season...........  Shumagin (610)....        0.003        8,729           26
                                  October 1-November   Chirikof (620)....        0.002        5,619           11
                                   1
                                                       Kodiak (630)......        0.002        6,812           14
                                  Annual.............  WYK (640).........        0.002        2,339            5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod.....................  A Season \1\.......  W.................        0.020       13,671          273
                                  January 1-June 10    C.................        0.044       24,217        1,066
                                  B Season \2\.......  W.................        0.020        9,114          182
                                  September 1-         C.................        0.044       16,145          710
                                   December 31
                                  Annual.............  WYK...............        0.034        1,953           66
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch.............  Annual.............  W.................        0.994        2,798        2,781
                                                       WYK...............        0.961        1,937        1,861
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Northern rockfish...............  Annual.............  W.................        1.000        2,573        2,573
Pelagic shelf rockfish..........  Annual.............  W.................        0.764          611          467
                                                       WYK...............        0.896          407          365
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.



              Table 22--Final 2012 GOA Groundfish Sideboard Limits for Amendment 80 Program Vessels
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Ratio of
                                                                            Amendment                    2012
                                   Apportionments and                       80 sector                 Amendment
             Species                 allocations by           Area           vessels      2012 TAC    80 vessel
                                         season                             1998-2004       (mt)      sideboards
                                                                             catch to                    (mt)
                                                                               TAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock.........................  A Season...........  Shumagin (610)....        0.003        6,186           19
                                  January 20-February  Chirikof (620)....        0.002       15,375           31
                                   25
                                                       Kodiak (630)......        0.002        5,783           12
                                  B Season...........  Shumagin (610)....        0.003        6,186           19
                                  March 10-May 31      Chirikof (620)....        0.002       18,392           37
                                                       Kodiak (630)......        0.002        2,765            6
                                  C Season...........  Shumagin (610)....        0.003       11,281           34
                                  August 25-September  Chirikof (620)....        0.002        7,261           15
                                   15
                                                       Kodiak (630)......        0.002        8,803           18
                                  D Season...........  Shumagin (610)....        0.003       11,281           34
                                  October 1-November   Chirikof (620)....        0.002        7,261           15
                                   1
                                                       Kodiak (630)......        0.002        8,803           18
                                  Annual.............  WYK (640).........        0.002        3,024            6
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod.....................  A Season \1\.......  W.................        0.020       12,317          246
                                  January 1-June 10    C.................        0.044       21,817          960
                                  B Season \2\.......  W.................        0.020        8,211          164
                                  September 1-         C.................        0.044       14,545          640
                                   December 31
                                  Annual.............  WYK...............        0.034        1,759           60
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch.............  Annual.............  W.................        0.994        2,665        2,649

[[Page 11135]]

 
                                                       WYK...............        0.961        1,845        1,773
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Northern rockfish...............  Annual.............  W.................        1.000        2,446        2,446
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pelagic shelf rockfish..........  Annual.............  W.................        0.764          570          435
                                                       WYK...............        0.896          380          340
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.

    The halibut PSC sideboard limits for Amendment 80 program vessels 
in the GOA are based on the historic use of halibut PSC by Amendment 80 
program vessels in each PSC target category from 1998 through 2004. 
These values are slightly lower than the average historic use to 
accommodate two factors: allocation of halibut PSC cooperative quota 
under the Central GOA Rockfish Program and the exemption of the F/V 
GOLDEN FLEECE from this restriction (Sec.  679.92(b)(2)). Table 23 
lists the final 2011 and 2012 halibut PSC limits for Amendment 80 
program vessels, as proscribed at Table 38 to 50 CFR part 679. These 
PSC limits are unchanged from those listed in the proposed 2011 and 
2012 harvest specifications.

          Table 23--Final 2011 and 2012 Halibut PSC Limits for Amendment 80 Program Vessels in the GOA
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Historic
                                                                            Amendment                  2011 and
                                                                            80 use of     2011 and       2012
             Season                   Season dates       Target fishery     the annual  2012 annual   Amendment
                                                                           halibut PSC   PSC limit    80 vessel
                                                                           limit catch      (mt)      PSC limit
                                                                              (ratio)                    (mt)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1...............................  January 20-April 1.  shallow-water.....       0.0048        2,000           10
                                                       deep-water........       0.0115        2,000           23
2...............................  April 1-July 1.....  shallow-water.....       0.0189        2,000           38
                                                       deep-water........       0.1072        2,000          214
3...............................  July 1-September 1.  shallow-water.....       0.0146        2,000           29
                                                       deep-water........       0.0521        2,000          104
4...............................  September 1-October  shallow-water.....       0.0074        2,000           15
                                   1.
                                                       deep-water........       0.0014        2,000            3
5...............................  October 1-December   shallow-water.....       0.0227        2,000           45
                                   31.
                                                       deep-water........       0.0371        2,000           74
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Directed Fishing Closures

    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), if the Regional Administrator 
determines (1) that any allocation or apportionment of a target species 
or species group allocated or apportioned to a fishery will be reached; 
or (2) with respect to pollock and Pacific cod, that an allocation or 
apportionment to an inshore or offshore component allocation will be 
reached, the Regional Administrator may establish a DFA for that 
species or species group. If the Regional Administrator establishes a 
DFA and that allowance is or will be reached before the end of the 
fishing year, NMFS will prohibit directed fishing for that species or 
species group in the specified GOA regulatory area or district (Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)(iii)).
    The Regional Administrator has determined that the TAC limits for 
the species listed in Table 24 are necessary to account for the 
incidental catch of these species in other anticipated groundfish 
fisheries for the 2011 and 2012 fishing years.

      Table 24--2011 and 2012 Directed Fishing Closures in the GOA
 [Amounts for incidental catch in other directed fisheries are in metric
                                  tons]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Incidental catch
             Target                Area/component/gear       amount
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock.........................  all/offshore........       \1\ unknown
Sablefish\2\....................  all/trawl...........      1,519 (2011)
                                                            1,391 (2012)
Shortraker rockfish\2\..........  all.................               914
Other rockfish..................  all.................      1,195 (2011)

[[Page 11136]]

 
                                                            1,194 (2012)
Rougheye rockfish...............  all.................             1,312
Thornyhead......................  all.................             1,770
Atka mackerel...................  all.................             2,000
Big skate.......................  all.................             3,328
Longnose skate..................  all.................             2,852
Other skates....................  all.................             2,093
Squids..........................  all.................             1,148
Sharks..........................  all.................             6,197
Octopuses.......................  all.................               954
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Pollock is closed to directed fishing in the GOA by the offshore
  component under Sec.   679.20(a)(6)(i).
\2\ Closures not applicable to participants in cooperatives conducted
  under the Rockfish Pilot Program.

    Consequently, in accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), the 
Regional Administrator establishes the DFA for the species or species 
groups listed in Table 24 as zero mt. Therefore, in accordance with 
Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for those 
species, areas, gear types, and components in the GOA listed in Table 
24. These closures will remain in effect through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., 
December 31, 2012.
    Section 679.64(b)(5) provides for management of AFA CV groundfish 
harvest limits and PSC bycatch limits using directed fishing closures 
and PSC closures according to procedures set out at Sec. Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)(iv), 679.21(d)(8), and 679.21(e)(3)(v). The Regional 
Administrator has determined that, in addition to the closures listed 
above, many of the non-exempt AFA CV sideboard limits listed in Tables 
14 and 15 are necessary as incidental catch to support other 
anticipated groundfish fisheries for the 2011 and 2012 fishing years. 
In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iv), the Regional Administrator 
sets the DFAs for the species and species groups in Table 25 at zero. 
Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is 
prohibiting directed fishing by non-exempt AFA CVs in the GOA for the 
species and specified areas listed in Table 25. These closures will 
remain in effect through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2012.

  Table 25--2011 and 2012 Non-Exempt AFA CV Sideboard Directed Fishing
                 Closures for All Gear Types in the GOA
 [Amounts for incidental catch in other directed fisheries are in metric
                                  tons]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Regulatory area/    Incidental catch
             Species                   district             amount
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod.....................  Eastern...........  14 (inshore) and 2
                                                       (offshore) in
                                                       2011.
                                                      13 (inshore) and 1
                                                       (offshore) in
                                                       2012.
Deep-water flatfish.............  Western...........  0.
Rex sole........................  Eastern and         1 and 3 in 2011.
                                   Western.
                                                      1 and 2 in 2012.
Arrowtooth flounder.............  Eastern and         1 and 17.
                                   Western.
Flathead sole...................  Eastern and         2 and 7.
                                   Western.
Pacific ocean perch.............  Western...........  6.
Northern rockfish...............  Western...........  1.
Pelagic shelf rockfish..........  Entire GOA........  3.
Demersal shelf rockfish.........  SEO District......  1.
Sculpins........................  Entire GOA........  35.
Squids..........................  Entire GOA........  7.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 680.22 provides for the management of non-AFA crab vessel 
sideboards using directed fishing closures in accordance with Sec.  
680.22(e)(2) and (3). The Regional Administrator has determined that 
the non-AFA crab vessel sideboards listed in Tables 17 and 18 are 
insufficient to support a directed fishery and has set the sideboard 
DFA at zero, with the exception of Pacific cod in the Western and 
Central Regulatory Areas. Therefore, NMFS is prohibiting directed 
fishing by non-AFA crab vessels in the GOA for all species and species 
groups listed in Tables 17 and 18, with the exception of Pacific cod in 
the Western and Central Regulatory Areas.
    Section 679.82 provides for the management of Rockfish Program 
sideboard limits using directed fishing closures in accordance with 
Sec.  679.82(d)(7)(i) and (ii). The Regional Administrator has 
determined that the CV sideboards listed in Table 19 are insufficient 
to support a directed fishery and has set the sideboard DFA at zero. 
Therefore, NMFS is closing directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch and 
pelagic shelf rockfish in the WYK District and the Western Regulatory 
Area and for northern rockfish in the Western Regulatory Area by CVs 
participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program during the month of 
July in 2011. These closures will remain in effect through 2400 hrs, 
A.l.t., December 31, 2011.
    Closures implemented under the 2010 and 2011 Gulf of Alaska harvest 
specifications for groundfish (75 FR 11749, March 12, 2010) remain 
effective under authority of these final 2011 and 2012 harvest 
specifications, and are posted at the following Web sites:

[[Page 11137]]

http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/index/infobulletins/infobulletins.asp?Yr=2010, and http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/2010/status.htm. While these closures are in effect, the maximum retainable 
amounts at Sec.  679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a fishing 
trip. These closures to directed fishing are in addition to closures 
and prohibitions found in regulations at 50 CFR part 679. NMFS may 
implement other closures during the 2011 and 2012 fishing years as 
necessary for effective conservation and management.

Response to Comments

    NMFS did not receive any comments in response to the proposed 2011 
and 2012 harvest specifications (75 FR 76352, December 8, 2010).

Classification

    NMFS has determined that these final harvest specifications are 
consistent with the FMP and with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other 
applicable laws.
    This action is authorized under 50 CFR 679.20 and is exempt from 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    NMFS prepared an EIS for this action (see ADDRESSES) and made it 
available to the public on January 12, 2007 (72 FR 1512). On February 
13, 2007, NMFS issued the Record of Decision (ROD) for the EIS. In 
January 2011, NMFS prepared a Supplemental Information Report (SIR) for 
this action. Copies of the EIS, ROD, and SIR for this action are 
available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). The EIS analyzes the environmental 
consequences of the groundfish harvest specifications and alternative 
harvest strategies on resources in the action area. The EIS found no 
significant environmental consequences of this action and its 
alternatives. The SIR evaluates the need to prepare a Supplemental EIS 
(SEIS) for the 2011 and 2012 groundfish harvest specifications.
    A SEIS should be prepared if (1) the agency makes substantial 
changes in the proposed action that are relevant to environmental 
concerns, or (2) significant new circumstances or information exist 
relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the proposed action 
or its impacts (40 CFR 1502.9(c)(1)). After reviewing the information 
contained in the SIR and SAFE reports, the Regional Administrator has 
determined that (1) approval of the 2011 and 2012 harvest 
specifications, which were set according to the preferred harvest 
strategy in the EIS, do not constitute a change in the action; and (2) 
there are no significant new circumstances or information relevant to 
environmental concerns and bearing on the action or its impacts. 
Additionally, the 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications will result in 
environmental impacts within the scope of those analyzed and disclosed 
in the EIS. Therefore, supplemental National Environmental Protection 
Act documentation is not necessary to implement the 2011 and 2012 
harvest specifications.
    NMFS also prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis 
(IRFA) as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 
analyzing the methodology for establishing the relevant TACs. The IRFA 
evaluated the impacts on small entities of alternative harvest 
strategies for the groundfish fisheries in the EEZ off Alaska. 
Accordingly, NMFS used the IRFA prepared for the EIS is association 
with this action. NMFS published a notice of availability of the IRFA 
and its summary in the Classification section of the proposed 2006 and 
2007 harvest specifications for the GOA in the Federal Register on 
December 15, 2006 (71 FR 75460). No comments were received regarding 
the IRFA or on the economic effects of the TAC-setting methodology.
    NMFS also prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA), 
as required by section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Copies of 
the FRFA are available from NMFS, Alaska Region (see ADDRESSES). The 
FRFA analyzed the methodology for establishing the relevant TACs. As 
set forth in the methodology, TACs are set to a level that fall within 
the range of ABCs recommended by the SSC; the sum of the TACs must 
achieve optimum yield specified in the FMP. While the specific numbers 
that the methodology may produce vary from year to year, the 
methodology itself remains constant. Accordingly, NMFS is using the 
FRFA prepared for the EIS in association with this action. Pursuant to 
sections 3.2.3 and 3.2.4 of the FMP, the established methodology 
produces ABCs and TACs within specified ranges and the numbers in this 
final rule's preferred alternative are within those ranges.
    In addition, NMFS considers the annual rulemakings establishing the 
harvest specification numbers to be a series of closely-related rules 
stemming from the harvest strategy and representing one rule for 
purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(c)). The need 
for, and objectives of, this final rule are described in the preamble. 
A summary of the 2007 FRFA follows. This action is taken in accordance 
with the FMP prepared by the Council pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act.
    The directly regulated small entities include approximately 747 
small CVs and fewer than 20 small C/Ps in the GOA. The entities 
directly regulated by this action harvest groundfish in the EEZ of the 
GOA, and in parallel fisheries within State of Alaska waters. These 
include entities operating CVs and C/Ps within the action area, and 
entities receiving direct allocations of groundfish. CVs and C/Ps were 
considered to be small entities if they had annual gross receipts of $4 
million per year or less from all economic activities, including the 
revenue of their affiliated operations (see Table 37 to the Economic 
Status of the Groundfish Fisheries off Alaska, 2005, in the 2006 SAFE 
report, dated February 2007, available from the Council (see 
ADDRESSES)).
    Estimates of gross product value for the GOA groundfish were used 
as an index of revenue and potential impacts of the alternative harvest 
strategies on small entities. Revenues were projected to decline from 
2006 levels in 2007 and 2008 under the preferred alternative due to 
declines in ABCs for key species, but by relatively small amounts. For 
example, the 2006 estimated earned revenue for GOA groundfish was 199.4 
million dollars, with projected revenues of 192.2 million dollars and 
199.2 million dollars in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
    The preferred alternative (Alternative 2) was compared to four 
other alternatives. These included Alternative 1, which would have set 
TACs to generate fishing rates equal to the maximum permissible ABC (if 
the full TAC were harvested), unless the sum of TACs exceeded the GOA 
OY, in which case harvests would be limited to the OY. Alternative 3 
would have set TACs to produce fishing rates equal to the most recent 
five-year average fishing rate. Alternative 4 would have set TACs to 
equal the lower limit of the GOA OY range. Alternative 5--the ``no 
action'' alternative--would have set TACs equal to zero.
    Alternatives 3, 4, and 5 were all associated with smaller levels 
for important fishery TACs than Alternative 2. Estimated total gross 
product values were used as an index of potential adverse impacts to 
small entities. As a consequence of the lower TAC levels, Alternatives 
3, 4, and 5 all had smaller first wholesale revenue indices than 
Alternative 2. Thus, Alternatives 3, 4, and 5 had greater adverse 
impacts on small entities. Alternative 1 appeared to generate higher 
values of the gross revenue index for fishing operations in the GOA 
than Alternative 2. A large part of the Alternative 1 GOA revenue

[[Page 11138]]

appears to be due to the assumption that the full Alternative 1 TAC 
would be harvested. Much of the larger revenue was due to increases in 
flatfish TACs that were much greater for Alternative 1 than for 
Alternative 2. In recent years, halibut bycatch constraints in these 
fisheries have kept actual flatfish catches from reaching Alternative 1 
levels. Therefore, a large part of the revenues associated with 
Alternative 1 are unlikely to occur. Also, Alternative 2 TACs are 
constrained by the ABCs the Plan Teams and SSC are likely to recommend 
to the Council on the basis of a full consideration of biological 
issues. These ABCs are often less than Alternative 1's maximum 
permissible ABCs; therefore higher TACs under Alternative 1 may not be 
consistent with prudent biological management of the resource. For 
these reasons, Alternative 2 is the preferred alternative.
    In addition to the IRFA prepared in association with the groundfish 
harvest specifications EIS, NMFS prepared a supplemental IRFA (SIRFA) 
in conjunction with the proposed harvest specifications (see 
ADDRESSES). The SIRFA evaluated the specification of separate OFLs and 
TACs for squids, sharks, octopuses, and sculpins in the GOA, consistent 
with the previously selected harvest strategy, the tier system used to 
set OFL (per the FMP), Amendment 87 to the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act, and other applicable law (see ADDRESSES). Amendment 87 to the FMP 
was published on September 22, 2010, and dissolved the ``other 
species'' complex into its component species of squids, sharks, 
octopuses, and sculpins.
    This supplemental Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (SFRFA) 
incorporates the SIRFA, a summary of the significant issues raised by 
the public comments in response to the IRFA, NMFS' responses to those 
comments, and provides a summary of the analyses completed to support 
the action. The SFRFA augments the FRFA prepared in connection with the 
2007 Alaska Groundfish Harvest Specification EIS.
    NMFS published the proposed harvest specifications on December 8, 
2010 (75 FR 76352) with comments invited through January 7, 2011. A 
SIRFA was prepared and summarized in the ``Classification'' section of 
the proposed rule. The description of this action, its purpose, and its 
legal basis are described in the preamble to the proposed rule and are 
not repeated here.
    No public comments were specifically received on the SIRFA or on 
the economic impacts of this action more generally. No changes were 
made from the proposed rule to the final rule.
    The 2010 Economic Status of Groundfish Fisheries Off Alaska report, 
prepared in conjunction with the 2010 SAFE report (see ADDRESSES), 
identifies 669 small groundfish entities operating in the GOA, with 
average revenues from all sources of about $600,000. Most of these 
(660) are C/Vs. A majority of the C/Vs (510), used hook-and-line gear 
and had average revenues of about $390,000. There were 73 trawl C/Vs, 
with average revenues of about $840,000, and 123 pot C/Vs with average 
revenues of $550,000. There were five C/Ps, mostly hook-and-line 
vessels, with average gross revenues of about $2.49 million. The 2010 
SAFE report may overstate the number of small entities because it 
considers individual vessel gross revenues, but does not capture 
affiliations among vessels. All of these small entities would be 
directly regulated by this action. As described below, however, certain 
small entities may be more likely than others to be adversely affected 
by this action as a result of potential impacts associated with the 
incidental catch of sharks, octopuses, or squids in other target 
fisheries.
    This action does not modify any recordkeeping or reporting 
requirements.
    NMFS considered several alternatives to the action to specify 
separate OFLs and TACS for GOA sculpins, sharks, octopuses, and squids 
species complexes. However, each of these alternatives has been 
eliminated from further consideration because it either does not 
minimize significant economic impacts on a substantial number of small 
entities or does not accomplish the stated objectives of, or is in 
conflict with the requirements of, applicable statutes.
    This action is intended to fulfill the agency's mandate to 
establish catch limits that are based on the best available scientific 
information, and to achieve optimum yield while preventing overfishing. 
This action adopts the alternative that is both consistent with the 
agency's obligations under the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the FMP and 
minimizes the likelihood that the specification of TACs and OFLs for 
the sculpin, sharks, octopuses, and squid species complexes will 
adversely affect small entities.
    NMFS considered dividing the TACs for each of the species complexes 
among different regulatory areas in the GOA. Any such further division 
of the TACs would not change the total TACs for each species complex in 
the GOA as a whole. However, the incidental catch of fishing vessels 
that operate within each of the regulatory areas would be counted 
against a reduced TAC and OFL, which would increase the likelihood that 
the TAC or OFL would be reached and that one or more area closures may 
be triggered.
    NMFS considered excusing small entities from compliance with the 
TACs for each of the species complexes evaluated in the SFRFA. However, 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS to implement conservation and 
management measures that prevent overfishing. Authorizing unlimited 
incidental catch of these species complexes by small entities would 
present an unacceptable risk of overfishing, and would not be 
consistent with the agency's obligations under Magnuson-Stevens Act, 
nor with the requirements of the Council's FMP.
    In order to minimize the economic impacts of this action, NMFS 
considered allocating relatively large portions of the TACs for each of 
the species complexes to potentially affected small entities. However, 
any such allocation, which would be motivated solely by economic 
considerations under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, would not be 
consistent with National Standard 5, which states that ``no 
[conservation and management measure] shall have economic allocation as 
its sole purpose.'' 16 U.S.C. 1851(a)(5).
    Finally, NMFS considered establishing a single group TAC for all 
four of the species complexes in the GOA, which would substantially 
reduce the likelihood that incidental catch would reach or exceed the 
TAC or OFL and result in area closures of target fisheries. However, 
the establishment of a stock complex comprised of species with such 
disparate life histories would not be consistent with the statutory 
requirement to establish catch limits that prevent overfishing for 
stocks in the fishery, nor with the Council's intent in enacting 
Amendment 87.
    Adverse impacts on marine mammals resulting from fishing activities 
conducted under this rule are discussed in the EIS (see ADDRESSES).
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Assistant Administrator for 
Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in 
effectiveness for this rule. Plan Team review occurred in November 
2010, and Council consideration and recommendations occurred in 
December 2010. Accordingly, NMFS review could not begin until January 
2011. For all fisheries not currently closed because the TACs 
established under the final 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications (75 FR 
11749, March 12, 2010) were not

[[Page 11139]]

reached, the possibility exists that they would be closed prior to the 
expiration of a 30-day delayed effectiveness period, if implemented, 
because their TACs could be reached. Certain fisheries, such as those 
for pollock and Pacific cod are intensive, fast-paced fisheries. Other 
fisheries, such as those for flatfish, rockfish, skates, squids, 
sharks, and octopuses are critical as directed fisheries and as 
incidental catch in other fisheries. U.S. fishing vessels have 
demonstrated the capacity to catch the TAC allocations in these 
fisheries. If a TAC is reached, NMFS would close directed fishing or 
prohibit retention for the applicable species, pending completion of 
the 30-day delayed effectiveness period. Any delay in allocating the 
final TACs in these fisheries would cause confusion to the industry and 
potential economic harm through unnecessary discards. Waiving the 30-
day delay allows NMFS to prevent economic loss to fishermen that could 
occur should 2011 TACs be reached prior to the close of the 30 day 
delay. Determining which fisheries may close is impossible because 
these fisheries are affected by several factors that cannot be 
predicted in advance, including fishing effort, weather, movement of 
fishery stocks, and market price. Furthermore, the closure of one 
fishery has a cascading effect on other fisheries by freeing-up fishing 
vessels, allowing them to move from closed fisheries to open ones, 
increasing the fishing capacity in those open fisheries and causing 
them to close at an accelerated pace.
    In fisheries subject to declining sideboards, a failure to 
implement the updated sideboards before initial season's end could 
preclude the intended economic protection to the non-sideboarded 
sectors. Conversely, in fisheries with increasing sideboards, economic 
benefit could be precluded to the sideboarded sectors.
    If the final harvest specifications are not effective by March 12, 
2011, which is the start of the 2011 Pacific halibut season as 
specified by the IPHC, the hook-and-line sablefish fishery will not 
begin concurrently with the Pacific halibut IFQ season. This would 
result in confusion for the industry and economic harm from unnecessary 
discard of sablefish that are caught along with Pacific halibut, as 
both hook-and-line sablefish and Pacific halibut are managed under the 
same IFQ program. Immediate effectiveness of the final 2011 and 2012 
harvest specifications will allow the sablefish IFQ fishery to begin 
concurrently with the Pacific halibut IFQ season. Also, the immediate 
effectiveness of this action is required to provide consistent 
management and conservation of fishery resources based on the best 
available scientific information. This is particularly true of those 
species which have lower 2011 ABCs and TACs than those established in 
the 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications (75 FR 11749, March 12, 2010). 
Immediate effectiveness also would give the fishing industry the 
earliest possible opportunity to plan and conduct its fishing 
operations with respect to new information about TAC limits. Therefore, 
NMFS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness under 
5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

Small Entity Compliance Guide

    The following information is a plain language guide to assist small 
entities in complying with this final rule as required by the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This final rule's 
primary purpose is to announce the final 2011 and 2012 harvest 
specifications and prohibited species bycatch allowances for the 
groundfish fisheries of the GOA. This action is necessary to establish 
harvest limits and associated management measures for groundfish during 
the 2011 and 2012 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and 
objectives of the FMP. This action affects all fishermen who 
participate in the GOA fisheries. The specific amounts of OFL, ABC, 
TAC, and PSC are provided in tables to assist the reader. NMFS will 
announce closures of directed fishing in the Federal Register and 
information bulletins released by the Alaska Region. Affected fishermen 
should keep themselves informed of such closures.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1540(f), 1801 et 
seq.; 16 U.S.C. 3631 et seq.; Pub. L. 105-277; Pub. L. 106-31; Pub. 
L. 106-554; Pub. L. 108-199; Pub. L. 108-447; Pub. L. 109-241; Pub. 
L. 109-479.

    Dated: February 22, 2011.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-4402 Filed 2-28-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P