[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 40 (Tuesday, March 1, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 11139-11161]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-4538]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 101126521-0640-02]
RIN 0648-XZ90


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea 
and Aleutian Islands; 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 and 
prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fishery of the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). 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 BSAI (FMP). The 
intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish 
resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

DATES: Effective from 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, the Final 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA), and Supplemental 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 BSAI, 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: Steve Whitney, 907-586-7269.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 679 
implement the FMP and govern the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI. The

[[Page 11140]]

North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the FMP, 
and NMFS approved it under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. General 
regulations governing U.S. fisheries also appear at 50 CFR part 600.
    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 must be within the optimum yield 
(OY) range of 1.4 million to 2.0 million metric tons (mt) (see Sec.  
679.20(a)(1)(i)). NMFS also must specify apportionments of TACs, 
prohibited species catch (PSC) allowances, and prohibited species quota 
(PSQ) reserves established by Sec.  679.21; seasonal allowances of 
pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel TAC; Amendment 80 allocations; 
and Community Development Quota (CDQ) reserve amounts established by 
Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(ii). The final harvest specifications set forth in 
Tables 1 through 16 of this action satisfy these requirements. The sum 
of TACs is 2,000,000 mt for 2011 and is 2,000,000 mt for 2012.
    Section 679.20(c)(3)(i) further requires NMFS to consider public 
comment on the proposed annual TACs (and apportionments thereof) and 
PSC allowances, and to publish final harvest specifications in the 
Federal Register. The proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications and 
PSC allowances for the groundfish fishery of the BSAI were published in 
the Federal Register on December 8, 2010 (75 FR 76372). Comments were 
invited and accepted through January 7, 2011. NMFS received 9 letters 
with 4 comments on the proposed harvest specifications. These comments 
are summarized and responded to in the ``Response to Comments'' section 
of this rule. NMFS consulted with the Council on the final 2011 and 
2012 harvest specifications during the December 2010 Council meeting in 
Anchorage, AK. After considering public comments, as well as biological 
and economic data that were available at the Council's December 
meeting, NMFS is implementing the final 2011 and 2012 harvest 
specifications as recommended by the Council.

Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) and TAC Harvest Specifications

    The final ABC levels are based on the best available biological and 
socioeconomic information, including projected biomass trends, 
information on assumed distribution of stock biomass, and revised 
technical methods used to calculate stock biomass. In general, the 
development of ABCs and overfishing levels (OFLs) involves 
sophisticated statistical analyses of fish populations. The FMP 
specifies a series of six tiers to define OFL and ABC amounts based on 
the level of reliable information available to fishery scientists. Tier 
one represents the highest level of information quality available while 
tier six represents the lowest.
    In December 2010, the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), 
Advisory Panel (AP), and Council reviewed current biological 
information about the condition of the BSAI groundfish stocks. The 
Council's Plan Team compiled and presented this information in the 2010 
SAFE report for the BSAI groundfish fisheries, dated November 2010. 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 BSAI ecosystem 
and the economic condition of groundfish fisheries off Alaska. The SAFE 
report was made available for public review upon notification of the 
proposed harvest specifications. The 2010 SAFE report continues to be 
available for public review (see ADDRESSES). From these data and 
analyses, the Plan Team estimated an OFL and ABC for each species or 
species category.
    In December 2010, the SSC, AP, and Council reviewed the Plan Team's 
recommendations. The SSC concurred with the Plan Team's 
recommendations, and the Council adopted the OFL and ABC amounts 
recommended by the SSC (Table 1). The final TAC recommendations were 
based on the ABCs as adjusted for other biological and socioeconomic 
considerations, including maintaining the sum of the TACs within the 
required OY range of 1.4 million to 2.0 million mt. The Council adopted 
the AP's 2011 and 2012 TAC recommendations. As required by annual catch 
limit rules (FR 74 3178, January 16, 2009), none of the Council's 
recommended TACs for 2011 or 2012 exceeds the final 2011 or 2012 ABCs 
for any species category. The final 2010 and 2011 harvest 
specifications approved by the 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 groundfish stocks as described in the 2010 
SAFE report that was approved by the Council.

Other Actions Potentially Affecting the 2011 and 2012 Harvest 
Specifications

    NMFS intends to develop a single database that stock assessment 
authors can access through a single source such as the Alaska Fisheries 
Information Network. The development of this database will require the 
cooperation of several agencies, including NMFS, the Alaska Department 
of Fish and Game, and the International Pacific Halibut Commission 
(IPHC). At its October 2010 meeting, the Council's groundfish Plan 
Teams recommended the formation of a total catch accounting working 
group to assist NMFS in developing a methodology to estimate total 
catch of groundfish. While much of the information is currently 
available and will be incorporated into the final 2010 SAFE reports, 
the development of an adequate methodology is ongoing and not fully 
ready for use in the final SAFE reports. NMFS intends to have the 
information available for the assessment cycle in the fall of 2011.
    The Council is currently considering an action to modify the non-
Chinook salmon management measures to minimize non-Chinook salmon 
bycatch. This potential action could impose cap threshold limits, 
sector specific allocations, and area specific closures for BSAI 
groundfish closures. This action is not expected to be in place by the 
2012 fishing year.
    The Council has approved a new program to replace the Gulf of 
Alaska Rockfish Pilot Program (Rockfish Program), which is scheduled to 
expire on December 31, 2011. NMFS is currently developing regulations 
to implement this program. The new rockfish program could alter BSAI 
groundfish sideboards for vessels participating in the Rockfish 
Program. This new program is expected to be in place for the 2012 
fishing year.
    In 2010, NMFS Alaska Region completed a Section 7 formal 
consultation on the effects of the authorization of the Alaska 
groundfish fisheries on Endangered Species Act listed species under 
NMFS jurisdiction. The consultation resulted in a biological opinion 
that determined that the effects of the Alaska groundfish fisheries 
were likely to jeopardize the continued existence of, and adversely 
modify designated critical habitat for, the western distinct population 
segment of Steller sea lions. The biological opinion included a 
reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) that requires changes to the 
BSAI Atka mackerel and Aleutian Islands subarea Pacific cod fisheries 
to prevent the likelihood of jeopardy of extinction or adverse 
modification of

[[Page 11141]]

critical habitat for Steller sea lions. Separate rulemaking for 
implementation of the RPA became effective January 1, 2011 (FR 75 
77535, December 13, 2010; and 75 FR 81921, December 29, 2010). Changes 
to the Atka mackerel and Pacific cod harvest specifications that are 
required by the rule implementing the RPA are described in the section 
for each of these target species. The proposed harvest specifications 
notified the public of possible changes to the harvest specification 
limits.
    At the October 2010 meeting, the Council and the Scientific and 
Statistical Committee (SSC) recommended separating Kamchatka flounder 
from the arrowtooth flounder complex starting in the year 2011. As a 
result, arrowtooth flounder and Kamchatka flounder have separate OFLs, 
ABCs, and TACs for 2011 and 2012. In the proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest 
specifications NMFS requested public comment on the proposal to 
allocate 10.7 percent of the Kamchatka flounder TAC to the CDQ Program. 
Six comments were received, and NMFS has determined to not allocate 
Kamchatka flounder to the six CDQ groups in 2011. See the Response to 
Comments section below.

Changes From the Proposed 2010 and 2011 Harvest Specifications in the 
BSAI

    In October 2010, the Council made its recommendations for the 
proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications (75 FR 76372, December 8, 
2010), based largely on information contained in the 2009 SAFE report 
for the BSAI groundfish fisheries. Through the proposed harvest 
specifications, NMFS notified the public that these harvest 
specifications were subject to change and that the Council would 
consider information contained in the 2010 SAFE report, recommendations 
from the SSC, Plan Team, and AP committees, and public testimony when 
making its recommendations for final harvest specification levels at 
the December Council meeting. NMFS further notified the public that, as 
required by the BSAI Groundfish FMP and its implementing regulations, 
the sum of the TACs must be within the optimum yield range of 1.4 and 
2.0 million metric tons.
    Information contained in the 2010 SAFE reports indicates an 
increase in biomass for several groundfish species. At the December 
Council meeting, the SSC recommended increasing the ABCs for many 
species in 2011 and 2012 based on the best and most recent information 
contained in the 2010 SAFE reports. This increase resulted in an ABC 
sum total that exceeds 2 million metric tons for both 2011 and 2012. 
Based on the SSC ABC recommendations and the 2010 SAFE reports, the AP 
recommended raising the TACs for more economically valuable species 
that have increasing biomasses such as pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific 
ocean perch, and Atka mackerel in the Eastern Aleutian Islands and 
Bering Sea subarea. Because these increases caused the sum of the TACs 
to exceed the 2 million metric ton limit, section 3.2.3.4 of the BSAI 
FMP required that the TACs be adjusted. The AP recommended a downward 
adjustment of TACs for several species that are not part of the 
directed fishery and that are easily avoided, such as octopuses, 
sculpins, sharks, skates, squid, and Alaska plaice. After receiving 
testimony from the Amendment 80 cooperatives, the AP recommended a 
reduction in Amendment 80 flatfish species TACs and arrowtooth flounder 
TAC to levels that the Amendment 80 fleet believed they could harvest 
given their PSC constraints. The Council accepted the SSC and AP 
recommendations.
    The changes to TAC between the proposed and final harvest 
specifications are based on the most recent scientific and economic 
information and are consistent with the FMP and regulatory obligations 
and harvest strategy as described in the proposed harvest 
specifications. These changes are compared in the following table.
    Table 1 lists the Council's recommended final 2011 and 2012 OFL, 
ABC, TAC, initial TAC (ITAC) and CDQ reserve amounts of the BSAI 
groundfish. NMFS concurs with these recommendations. The final 2011 and 
2012 TAC recommendations for the BSAI are within the OY range 
established for the BSAI and do not exceed the ABC for any single 
species or complex. The apportionment of TAC amounts among fisheries 
and seasons is discussed below.

                             Comparison of Final 2011 and 2012 With Proposed 2011 and 2012 Total Allowable Catch in the BSAI
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
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                                                                                                      2011                                      2012
                                                                       2011 final       2011       difference    2012 final       2012       difference
                 Species                           Area \1\                TAC      proposed TAC      from           TAC      proposed TAC      from
                                                                                                    proposed                                  proposed
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Pollock.................................  BS........................     1,252,000     1,107,000       145,000     1,253,658     1,105,000       148,658
                                          AI........................        19,000        19,000             0        19,000        19,000             0
                                          Bogoslof..................           150            75            75           150            75            75
Pacific cod.............................  BSAI......................       227,950       207,580        20,370       229,608       207,580        22,028
Sablefish...............................  BS........................         2,850         2,500           350         2,610         2,500           110
                                          AI........................         1,900         1,860            40         1,740         1,860          -120
Atka mackerel...........................  EAI/BS....................        40,300        20,900        19,400        36,800        20,900        15,900
                                          CAI.......................        11,280        26,000       -14,720        10,293        26,000       -15,707
                                          WAI.......................         1,500        18,100       -16,600         1,500        18,100       -16,600
Yellowfin sole..........................  BSAI......................       196,000       213,000       -17,000       197,660       213,000       -15,340
Rock sole...............................  BSAI......................        85,000        90,000        -5,000        85,000        90,000        -5,000
Greenland turbot........................  BS........................         3,500         3,700          -200         3,500         3,700          -200
                                          AI........................         1,550         1,670          -120         1,450         1,670          -220
Arrowtooth flounder.....................  BSAI......................        25,900        60,000       -34,100        25,900        60,000       -34,100
Kamchatka flounder......................  BSAI......................        17,700        17,700             0        17,700        17,700             0
Flathead sole...........................  BSAI......................        41,548        60,000       -18,452        41,548        60,000       -18,452
Other flatfish..........................  BSAI......................         3,000        17,300       -14,300         3,000        17,300       -14,300
Alaska plaice...........................  BSAI......................        16,000        40,000       -24,000        16,000        40,000       -24,000
Pacific ocean perch.....................  BS........................         5,710         3,790         1,920         5,710         3,790         1,920
                                          EAI.......................         5,660         4,180         1,480         5,660         4,180         1,480
                                          CAI.......................         4,960         4,230           730         4,960         4,230           730
                                          WAI.......................         8,370         6,480         1,890         8,370         6,480         1,890

[[Page 11142]]

 
Northern rockfish.......................  BSAI......................         4,000         7,290        -3,290         4,000         7,290        -3,290
Shortraker rockfish.....................  BSAI......................           393           387             6           393           387             6
Rougheye rockfish \2\...................  BS/EAI....................           234            42           192           240            42           198
                                          CAI/WAI...................           220           489          -269           225           489          -264
Other rockfish..........................  BS........................           500           485            15           500           485            15
                                          AI........................           500           555           -55           500           555           -55
Squid...................................  BSAI......................           425         1,970        -1,545           425         1,970        -1,545
Skates..................................  BSAI......................        16,500        30,000       -13,500        16,500        30,000       -13,500
Sharks..................................  BSAI......................            50           449          -399            50           449          -399
Octopuses...............................  BSAI......................           150           233           -83           150           233           -83
Sculpins................................  BSAI......................         5,200        30,035       -24,835         5,200        30,035       -24,835
                                                                     -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...............................  BSAI......................     2,000,000     1,997,000         3,000     2,000,000     1,995,000         5,000
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\1\ Bering Sea subarea (BS), Aleutian Islands subarea (AI), Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI), Eastern Aleutian District (EAI),
  Central Aleutian District (CAI), and Western Aleutian District (WAI).
\2\ The proposed rule split rougheye rockfish TACs by the Aleutian Islands, and the Bering Sea. The final rule splits rougheye rockfish by the Bering
  Sea and Eastern Aleutians District, and the Central Aleutian District and Western Aleutian District.


[[Page 11143]]


 Table 1--Final 2011 and 2012 Overfishing Level (Ofl), Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC), Total Allowable Catch (TAC), Initial TAC (ITAC), and CDQ Reserve Allocation of Groundfish in the BSAI
                                                                                               \1\
                                                                                  [Amounts are in metric tons]
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                                                                                      2011                                                                  2012
             Species                     Area        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           OFL           ABC           TAC        ITAC \2\       CDQ \3\         OFL           ABC           TAC        ITAC \2\       CDQ \3\
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock \3\.....................  BS \2\............     2,450,000     1,270,000     1,252,000     1,126,800       125,200     3,170,000     1,600,000     1,253,658     1,128,292       125,366
                                  AI \2\............        44,500        36,700        19,000        17,100         1,900        50,400        41,600        19,000        17,100         1,900
                                  Bogoslof..........        22,000           156           150           150             0        22,000           156           150           150             0
Pacific cod 4, 5................  BSAI..............       272,000       235,000       227,950       203,559        24,391       329,000       281,000       229,608       205,040        24,568
Sablefish \5\...................  BS................         3,360         2,850         2,850         2,351           392         3,080         2,610         2,610         1,109            98
                                  AI................         2,250         1,900         1,900         1,544           321         2,060         1,740         1,740           370            33
Atka mackerel \5\...............  BSAI..............       101,000        85,300        53,080        47,400         5,680        92,200        77,900        48,593        43,394         5,199
                                  EAI/BS............           n/a        40,300        40,300        35,988         4,312           n/a        36,800        36,800        32,862         3,938
                                  CAI...............           n/a        24,000        11,280        10,073         1,207           n/a        21,900        10,293         9,192         1,101
                                  WAI...............           n/a        21,000         1,500         1,340           161           n/a        19,200         1,500         1,340           161
Yellowfin sole \5\..............  BSAI..............       262,000       239,000       196,000       175,028        20,972       266,000       242,000       197,660       176,510        21,150
Rock sole 5, 6..................  BSAI..............       248,000       224,000        85,000        75,905         9,095       243,000       219,000        85,000        75,905         9,095
Greenland turbot \5\............  BSAI..............         7,220         6,140         5,050         4,293           n/a         6,760         5,750         4,950         4,208           n/a
                                  BS................           n/a         4,590         3,500         2,975           375           n/a         4,300         3,500         2,975           375
                                  AI................           n/a         1,550         1,550         1,318             0           n/a         1,450         1,450         1,233             0
Arrowtooth flounder \5\.........  BSAI..............       186,000       153,000        25,900        22,015         2,771       191,000       157,000        25,900        22,015         2,771
Kamchatka flounder..............  BSAI..............        23,600        17,700        17,700        15,045             0        23,600        17,700        17,700        15,045             0
Flathead sole 5, 7..............  BSAI..............        83,300        69,300        41,548        37,102         4,446        82,100        68,300        41,548        37,102         4,446
Other flatfish \8\..............  BSAI..............        19,500        14,500         3,000         2,550             0        19,500        14,500         3,000         2,550             0
Alaska plaice...................  BSAI..............        79,100        65,100        16,000        13,600             0        83,800        69,100        16,000        13,600             0
Pacific ocean perch \5\.........  BSAI..............        36,300        24,700        24,700        21,812           n/a        34,300        24,700        24,700        21,812           n/a
                                  BS................           n/a         5,710         5,710         4,854             0           n/a         5,710         5,710         4,854             0
                                  EAI...............           n/a         5,660         5,660         5,054           606           n/a         5,660         5,660         5,054           606
                                  CAI...............           n/a         4,960         4,960         4,429           531           n/a         4,960         4,960         4,429           531
                                  WAI...............           n/a         8,370         8,370         7,474           896           n/a         8,370         8,370         7,474           896
Northern rockfish...............  BSAI..............        10,600         8,670         4,000         3,400             0        10,400         8,330         4,000         3,400             0
Shortraker rockfish.............  BSAI..............           524           393           393           334             0           524           393           393           334             0
Rougheye rockfish \9\...........  BSAI..............           549           454           454           386             0           563           465           465           395             0
                                  EBS/EAI...........           n/a           234           234           199             0           n/a           240           240           204             0
                                  CAI/WAI...........           n/a           220           220           187             0           n/a           225           225           191             0
Other rockfish \10\.............  BSAI..............         1,700         1,280         1,000           850             0         1,700         1,280         1,000           850             0
                                  BS................           n/a           710           500           425             0           n/a           710           500           425             0
                                  AI................           n/a           570           500           425             0           n/a           570           500           425             0
Squids..........................  BSAI..............         2,620         1,970           425           361             0         2,620         1,970           425           361             0
Skates..........................  BSAI..............        37,800        31,500        16,500        14,025             0        37,200        31,000        16,500        14,025             0
Sharks..........................  BSAI..............         1,360         1,020            50            43             0         1,360         1,020            50            43             0
Octopuses.......................  BSAI..............           528           396           150           128             0           528           396           150           128             0
Sculpins........................  BSAI..............        58,300        43,700         5,200         4,420             0        58,300        43,700         5,200         4,420             0
                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................  ..................     3,954,111     2,534,729     2,000,000     1,790,200       199,467     4,731,995     2,911,610     2,000,000     1,788,157       198,926
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ These amounts apply to the entire BSAI management area unless otherwise specified. With the exception of pollock, and for the purpose of these harvest specifications, the Bering Sea (BS)
  subarea includes the Bogoslof District.
\2\ Except for pollock, the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line and pot gear, and Amendment 80 species, 15 percent of each TAC is put into a reserve. The ITAC for these
  species is the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of these reserves.
\3\ Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), the annual Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for the incidental
  catch allowance (3.0 percent), is further allocated by sector for a directed pollock fishery as follows: Inshore--50 percent; catcher/processor--40 percent; and motherships--10 percent.
  Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual Aleutian Islands subarea pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for
  the incidental catch allowance (1,600 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery.
\4\ The Pacific cod TAC is reduced by three percent from the ABC to account for the State guideline harvest level in State waters of the Aleutian Islands subarea.
\5\ For the Amendment 80 species (Atka mackerel, Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole, and Pacific cod), 10.7 percent of the TAC is reserved for use
  by CDQ participants (see Sec.  Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31). Twenty percent of the sablefish TAC allocated to hook-and-line gear or pot gear, 7.5 percent of the sablefish TAC
  allocated to trawl gear, and 10.7 percent of the TACs for Bering Sea Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder are reserved for use by CDQ participants (see Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) and
  (D)). Aleutian Islands Greenland turbot, ``other flatfish'', Alaska plaice, Bering Sea Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, rougheye rockfish, ``other rockfish'',
  octopuses, sculpins, sharks, skates, and squid are not allocated to the CDQ program.
\6\ ``Rock sole'' includes Lepidopsetta polyxystra (Northern rock sole) and Lepidopsetta bilineata (Southern rock sole).
\7\ ``Flathead sole'' includes Hippoglossoides elassodon (flathead sole) and Hippoglossoides robustus (Bering flounder).
\8\ ``Other flatfish'' includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, rock sole, and
  yellowfin sole.
\9\ ``Rougheye rockfish'' includes Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted).
\10\ ``Other rockfish'' includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern, shortraker, and rougheye rockfish.


[[Page 11144]]

Groundfish Reserves and the Incidental Catch Allowance (ICA) for 
Pollock, Atka Mackerel, Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, Yellowfin Sole, and 
Aleutian Islands Pacific Ocean Perch

    Section 679.20(b)(1)(i) requires the placement of 15 percent of the 
TAC for each target species, except for pollock, the hook-and-line and 
pot gear allocation of sablefish, and the Amendment 80 species, in a 
non-specified reserve. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires that 20 
percent of the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish be 
allocated to the fixed gear sablefish CDQ reserve. Section 
679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D) requires allocation of 7.5 percent of the trawl 
gear allocations of sablefish and 10.7 percent of the Bering Sea 
Greenland turbot and arrowtooth flounder TACs to the respective CDQ 
reserves. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) requires allocation of 10.7 
percent of the TACs for Atka mackerel, Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean 
perch, yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole, and Pacific cod to the 
CDQ reserves. Sections 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) and 679.31(a) also require 
the allocation of 10 percent of the BSAI pollock TACs to the pollock 
CDQ directed fishing allowance (DFA). The entire Bogoslof District 
pollock TAC is allocated as an ICA (see Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(ii)). With 
the exception of the hook-and-line and pot gear sablefish CDQ reserve, 
the regulations do not further apportion the CDQ allocations by gear.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), NMFS allocates a pollock 
ICA of 3 percent of the BS subarea pollock TAC after subtraction of the 
10 percent CDQ reserve. This allowance is based on NMFS' examination of 
the pollock incidental catch, including the incidental catch by CDQ 
vessels, in target fisheries other than pollock from 1999 through 2010. 
During this 12-year period, the pollock incidental catch ranged from a 
low of 2.4 percent in 2006 to a high of 5 percent in 1999, with a 12-
year average of 3 percent. Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) 
and (ii), NMFS establishes a pollock ICA of 1,600 mt of the AI subarea 
TAC after subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ DFA. This allowance is 
based on NMFS' examination of the pollock incidental catch, including 
the incidental catch by CDQ vessels, in target fisheries other than 
pollock from 2003 through 2010. During this 8-year period, the 
incidental catch of pollock ranged from a low of 5 percent in 2006 to a 
high of 10 percent in 2003, with an 8-year average of 7 percent.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8) and (10), NMFS allocates ICAs of 
5,000 mt of flathead sole, 5,000 mt of rock sole, 2,000 mt of yellowfin 
sole, 10 mt of Western Aleutian District Pacific (WAI) ocean perch, 75 
mt of Central Aleutian District (CAI) Pacific ocean perch, 100 mt of 
Eastern Aleutian District (EAI) Pacific ocean perch, 40 mt of WAI Atka 
mackerel, 75 mt of CAI Atka mackerel, and 75 mt of EAI and BS subarea 
Atka mackerel TAC after subtraction of the 10.7 percent CDQ reserve. 
These allowances are based on NMFS' examination of the incidental catch 
in other target fisheries from 2003 through 2010.
    The regulations do not designate the remainder of the non-specified 
reserve by species or species group. Any amount of the reserve may be 
apportioned to a target species category during the year, providing 
that such apportionments do not result in overfishing (see Sec.  
679.20(b)(1)(i)). The Regional Administrator has determined that the 
ITACs specified for the species listed in Table 2 need to be 
supplemented from the non-specified reserve because U.S. fishing 
vessels have demonstrated the capacity to catch the full TAC 
allocations. Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  679.20(b)(3), NMFS is 
apportioning the amounts shown in Table 2 from the non-specified 
reserve to increase the ITAC for northern rockfish, shortraker 
rockfish, rougheye rockfish, and Bering Sea ``other rockfish'' by 15 
percent of the TAC in 2011 and 2012.

                    Table 2--Final 2011 and 2012 Apportionment of Reserves to ITAC Categories
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     2011                                   2012
      Species-area or subarea        2011 ITAC     reserve     2011 final   2012 ITAC     reserve    2012  final
                                                    amount        ITAC                     amount        ITAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shortraker rockfish-BSAI..........          334           59          393          334           59          393
Rougheye rockfish-EBS/EAI.........          199           35          234          204           36          240
Rougheye rockfish-CAI/WAI.........          187           33          220          191           34          225
Northern rockfish-BSAI............        3,400          600        4,000        3,400          600        4,000
Other rockfish--Bering Sea subarea          425           75          500          425           75          500
                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.........................        4,545          802        5,347        4,554          804        5,358
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Allocation of Pollock TAC Under the American Fisheries Act (AFA)

    Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) requires that the pollock TAC 
apportioned to the BS subarea, after subtraction of the 10 percent for 
the CDQ program and the 3 percent for the ICA, be allocated as a DFA as 
follows: 50 percent to the inshore sector, 40 percent to the catcher/
processor (C/P) sector, and 10 percent to the mothership sector. In the 
BS subarea, 40 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 
20-June 10), and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season 
(June 10-November 1) (Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)). The AI directed 
pollock fishery allocation to the Aleut Corporation is the amount of 
pollock remaining in the AI subarea after subtracting 1,900 mt for the 
CDQ DFA (10 percent) and 1,600 mt for the ICA (Sec.  
679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(ii)). In the AI subarea, 40 percent of the DFA 
is allocated to the A season and the remainder of the directed pollock 
fishery is allocated to the B season. Table 3 lists these 2011 and 2012 
amounts.
    Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4) also includes several specific 
requirements regarding BS subarea pollock allocations. First, 8.5 
percent of the pollock allocated to the C/P sector will be available 
for harvest by AFA catcher vessels (CVs) with C/P sector endorsements, 
unless the Regional Administrator receives a cooperative contract that 
provides for the distribution of harvest among AFA C/Ps and AFA CVs in 
a manner agreed to by all members. Second, AFA C/Ps not listed in the 
AFA are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the pollock 
allocated to the C/P sector. Table 3 lists the 2011 and 2012 
allocations of pollock TAC. Tables 11 through 16 list the AFA C/P and 
CV harvesting sideboard limits. The tables

[[Page 11145]]

for the pollock allocations to the BS subarea inshore pollock 
cooperatives and open access sector will be posted on the Alaska Region 
Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
    Table 3 also lists seasonal apportionments of pollock and harvest 
limits within the Steller Sea Lion Conservation Area (SCA). The harvest 
within the SCA, as defined at Sec.  679.22(a)(7)(vii), is limited to 28 
percent of the annual DFA until 12 noon, April 1 as provided in Sec.  
679.22(a)(5)(i)(C). The remaining 12 percent of the 40 percent annual 
DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside the SCA before 12 
noon, April 1 or inside the SCA after 12 noon, April 1. If less than 28 
percent of the annual DFA is taken inside the SCA before 12 noon, April 
1, the remainder will be available to be taken inside the SCA after 12 
noon, April 1. The A season pollock SCA harvest limit will be 
apportioned to each sector in proportion to each sector's allocated 
percentage of the DFA. Table 3 lists these 2011 and 2012 amounts by 
sector.

     Table 3--Final 2011 and 2012 Allocations of Pollock TACs to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ Directed Fishing Allowances (DFA)\1\
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             2011 A season \1\         2011  B                       2012 A season \1\         2012  B
                                              2011     ----------------------------  season \1\       2012     ----------------------------  season \1\
             Area and sector               Allocations                 SCA harvest --------------  Allocations                 SCA harvest -------------
                                                        A season DFA    limit \2\   B season DFA                A season DFA    limit \2\   B season DFA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea subarea......................     1,252,000           n/a           n/a           n/a     1,253,658           n/a           n/a           n/a
    CDQ DFA.............................       125,200        50,080        35,056        75,120       125,366        50,146        35,102        75,219
    ICA \1\.............................        33,804           n/a           n/a           n/a        33,849           n/a           n/a           n/a
    AFA Inshore.........................       546,498       218,599       153,019       327,899       547,222       218,889       153,222       328,333
    AFA Catcher/Processors \3\..........       437,198       174,879       122,416       262,319       437,777       175,111       122,578       262,666
        Catch by C/Ps...................       400,037       160,015           n/a       240,022       400,566       160,227           n/a       240,340
        Catch by CVs \3\................        37,162        14,865           n/a        22,297        37,211        14,884           n/a        22,327
            Unlisted C/P Limit \4\......         2,186           874           n/a         1,312         2,189           876           n/a         1,313
    AFA Motherships.....................       109,300        43,720        30,604        65,580       109,444        43,778        30,644        65,667
    Excessive Harvesting Limit \5\......       191,274           n/a           n/a           n/a       191,528           n/a           n/a           n/a
    Excessive Processing Limit \6\......       327,899           n/a           n/a           n/a       328,333           n/a           n/a           n/a
                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Bering Sea DFA....................     1,092,996       437,198       306,039       655,798     1,094,443       437,777       306,444       656,666
 
Aleutian Islands subarea \1\............        19,000           n/a           n/a           n/a        19,000           n/a           n/a           n/a
    CDQ DFA.............................         1,900           760           n/a         1,140         1,900           760           n/a         1,140
    ICA.................................         1,600           800           n/a           800         1,600           800           n/a           800
    Aleut Corporation...................        15,500        15,500           n/a             0        15,500        15,500           n/a             0
Bogoslof District ICA \7\...............           150           n/a           n/a           n/a           150           n/a           n/a           n/a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the BS subarea pollock, after subtraction for the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (3 percent), is allocated
  as a DFA as follows: inshore sector--50 percent, catcher/processor sector (C/P)--40 percent, and mothership sector--10 percent. In the BS subarea, 40
  percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20-June 10) and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10-November 1).
  Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10
  percent) and second the ICA (1,600 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery. In the AI subarea, the A season is
  allocated 40 percent of the ABC and the B season is allocated the remainder of the directed pollock fishery.
\2\ In the BS subarea, no more than 28 percent of each sector's annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before April 1. The remaining 12 percent of the
  annual DFA allocated to the A season may be taken outside of SCA before April 1 or inside the SCA after April 1. If less than 28 percent of the annual
  DFA is taken inside the SCA before April 1, the remainder will be available to be taken inside the SCA after April 1.
\3\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed C/Ps shall be available for harvest only by
  eligible catcher vessels delivering to listed C/Ps.
\4\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted C/Ps are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the C/Ps sector's
  allocation of pollock.
\5\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6), NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ
  pollock DFAs.
\6\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7), NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ
  pollock DFAs.
\7\ The Bogoslof District is closed by the final harvest specifications to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for ICA only and are
  not apportioned by season or sector.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

Allocation of the Atka Mackerel TACs

    Section 679.20(a)(8) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs to the 
Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors, after subtraction 
of the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs for the BSAI trawl 
limited access sector and non-trawl gear (Table 4). The process for 
allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI 
trawl limited access sectors is listed in Table 33 to part 679 and 
Sec.  679.91. Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(i), up to 2 percent of the 
EAI and the BS subarea Atka mackerel ITAC may be allocated to jig gear. 
The amount of this allocation is determined annually by the Council 
based on several criteria, including the anticipated harvest capacity 
of the jig gear fleet. The Council recommended, and NMFS approves, a 
0.5 percent allocation of the Atka mackerel ITAC in the EAI and BS 
subarea to the jig gear in 2011 and 2012. This percentage is applied 
after subtraction of the CDQ reserve and the ICA.
    The RPA implemented on January 1, 2011, (FR 75 77535, December 13, 
2010, and 75 FR 81921, December 29, 2010), requires that NMFS make 
several changes from the proposed to the final harvest specifications 
for BSAI Atka mackerel. The platoon management of Atka mackerel harvest 
inside the harvest limit area is no longer needed because the RPA 
prohibits all retention of Atka mackerel in Area 543 and requires that 
nearly all directed fishing for Atka mackerel in waters 0 nm to 20 nm 
around Steller sea lion sites in Area 542. The harvest limit area 
limits that were in the proposed harvest specification therefore have 
been removed from the final harvest specifications in Areas 542 and 
543. The TACs in these two areas, which were set to ABC, decreased from 
the proposed amounts. In area 543, the final amount is set to account 
for discards in other fisheries since the RPA at Sec.  679.7(a)(19) 
prohibits retention in Area 543. Also the final Area 542 TAC decreased 
from the proposed TAC since the RPA at Sec.  679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(3) 
limits the annual TAC for this area to no more than 47 percent of the 
Area 542 ABC.
    Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) apportions the Atka mackerel ITAC into 
two equal seasonal allowances. The RPA changed the end of the A season 
and start of the B season dates at Sec.  679.23(e)(3). The first

[[Page 11146]]

seasonal allowance is made available for directed fishing with trawl 
gear from January 20 to June 10 (A season), and the second seasonal 
allowance is made available from June to November 1 (B season). Also, 
Sec.  679.23(e)(4)(iii) the RPA applies Atka mackerel seasons to CDQ 
Atka mackerel fishing. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by 
season.
    Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(ii)(2) requires the Amendment 80 
cooperatives and CDQ groups to limit harvest to 10 percent of their 
Central Aleutian District Atka mackerel allocation equally divided 
between the A and B seasons within waters 10 nm to 20 nm of Gramp Rock 
and Tag Island, as described on Table 12 to part 679. Vessels not 
fishing under the authority of an Amendment 80 cooperative quota or CDQ 
allocation are prohibited from conducting directed fishing for Atka 
mackerel inside Steller sea lion critical habitat in the Central 
Aleutian District.
    Table 4 lists these 2011 and 2012 Atka mackerel season and area 
allowances, as well as the sector allocations. The 2012 allocations for 
Atka mackerel between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 
limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants 
apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2011.

 Table 4--Final 2011 and 2012 Seasonal and Spatial Allowances, Gear Shares, CDQ Reserve, Incidental Catch Allowance, and Amendment 80 Allocations of the
                                                                 BSAI Atka Mackerel TAC
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   2011 allocation by area                2012 allocation by area
                                                                           -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              Eastern      Central                   Eastern      Central
                 Sector \1\                          Season 2, 3, 4           Aleutian     Aleutian     Western      Aleutian     Aleutian     Western
                                                                             District/     District     Aleutian    District/     District     Aleutian
                                                                             Bering Sea      \5\        District    Bering Sea      \5\        District
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC........................................  n/a..........................       40,300       11,280        1,500       36,800       10,293        1,500
CDQ reserve................................  Total........................        4,312        1,207          161        3,938        1,101          161
                                             A............................        2,156          603           80        1,969          551           80
                                             Critical habitat \5\.........          n/a           60          n/a          n/a           55          n/a
                                             B............................        2,156          603           80        1,969          551           80
                                             Critical habitat \5\.........          n/a           60          n/a          n/a           55          n/a
ICA........................................  Total........................           75           75           40           75           75           40
Jig \6\....................................  Total........................          180            0            0          164            0            0
BSAI trawl limited access..................  Total........................        2,859          800            0        3,262          912            0
                                             A............................        1,429          400            0        1,631          456            0
                                             B............................        1,429          400            0        1,631          456            0
Amendment 80 sectors.......................  Total........................       32,875        9,198        1,300       29,361        8,205        1,300
                                             A............................       16,437        4,599          650       14,681        4,102          650
                                             B............................       16,437        4,599          650       14,681        4,102          650
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative..............  Total........................       19,181        5,389          755          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             A............................        9,591        2,695          377          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             Critical habitat \5\.........          n/a          269          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             B............................        9,591        2,695          377          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             Critical habitat \5\.........          n/a          269          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
Alaska Seafood Cooperative.................  Total........................       13,694        3,809          545          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             A............................        6,847        1,904          272          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             Critical habitat \5\.........          n/a          190          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             B............................        6,847        1,904          272          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             Critical habitat \5\.........          n/a          190          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtraction of the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs to the Amendment 80
  and BSAI trawl limited access sectors. The allocation of the ITAC for Atka mackerel to the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is
  established in Table 33 to part 679 and Sec.   679.91. The CDQ reserve is 10.7 percent of the TAC for use by CDQ participants (see Sec.  Sec.
  679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 679.31).
\2\ Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) and 679.22(a) establish temporal and spatial limitations for the Atka mackerel fishery.
\3\ The seasonal allowances of Atka mackerel are 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season.
\4\ Section 679.23(e)(3) authorizes directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear during the A season from January 20 to June 10 and the B season
  from June 10 to November 1.
\5\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C) requires the TAC in area 542 shall be no more than 47% of ABC, and Atka mackerel harvests for Amendment 80 cooperatives
  and CDQ groups within waters 10 nm to 20 nm of Gramp Rock and Tag Island, as described Table 12 to part 679, in Area 542 are limited to no more than
  10 percent of the Amendment 80 cooperative Atka mackerel allocation or 10 percent of the CDQ Atka mackerel allocation.
\6\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(i) requires that up to 2 percent of the Eastern Aleutian District and the Bering Sea subarea TAC be allocated to jig gear after
  subtraction of the CDQ reserve and ICA. The amount of this allocation is 0.5 percent. The jig gear allocation is not apportioned by season.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

Allocation of the Pacific Cod ITAC

    Section 679.20(a)(7)(i) and (ii) allocates the Pacific cod TAC in 
the BSAI, after subtraction of 10.7 percent for the CDQ reserve, as 
follows: 1.4 percent to vessels using jig gear; 2.0 percent to hook-
and-line and pot CVs less than 60 ft (18.3 m) length overall (LOA); 0.2 
percent to hook-and-line CVs greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) 
LOA; 48.7 percent to hook-and-line C/P; 8.4 percent to pot CVs greater 
than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA; 1.5 percent to pot C/Ps; 2.3 
percent to AFA trawl C/Ps; 13.4 percent to non-AFA trawl C/Ps; and 22.1 
percent to trawl CVs. The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors 
will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC 
allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. For 2011 and 2012, the 
Regional Administrator establishes an ICA of 500 mt based on 
anticipated incidental catch by these sectors in other fisheries. The 
allocation of the ITAC for Pacific cod to the Amendment 80 sector is 
established in Table 33 to part 679 and Sec.  679.91. The 2012 
allocations for Pacific cod between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the 
Amendment 80 limited access

[[Page 11147]]

sector will not be known until November 1, 2011, the date by which the 
applicants eligible to apply for participation in the Amendment 80 
program must file their application. Amendment 80 applications for 2012 
have not yet been submitted to NMFS, thereby preventing NMFS from 
calculating 2012 allocations. NMFS will post 2012 Amendment 80 
allocations when they become available in December 2011.
    The Pacific cod ITAC is apportioned into seasonal allowances to 
disperse the Pacific cod fisheries over the fishing year (see 
Sec. Sec.  679.20(a)(7) and 679.23(e)(5)). In accordance with Sec.  
679.20(a)(7)(iv)(B) and (C), any unused portion of a seasonal Pacific 
cod allowance will become available at the beginning of the next 
seasonal allowance.
    The CDQ and non-CDQ season allowances by gear based on the 2011 and 
2012 Pacific cod TACs are listed in Tables 5a and 5b based on the 
sector allocation percentages of Pacific cod set forth at Sec. Sec.  
679.20(a)(7)(i)(B) and 679.20(a)(7)(iv)(A); and the seasonal allowances 
of Pacific cod set forth at Sec.  679.23(e)(5).
    The RPA implemented on January 1, 2011 (75 FR 77535, December 13, 
2010), includes two prohibitions for Pacific cod. Section 679.7(a)(19) 
prohibits retention of Pacific cod in Area 543 and Sec.  679.7(a)(23) 
prohibits directed fishing for Pacific cod with hook-and-line, pot, or 
jig gear in the Aleutian Islands subarea November 1 through December 
31.

              Table 5a--Final 2011 Gear Shares and Seasonal Allowances of the BSAI Pacific Cod TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     Seasonal apportionment
          Gear sector               Percent      Share of gear     Share of    ---------------------------------
                                                 sector total    sector total         Dates           Amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total TAC.....................             100         227,950             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
CDQ...........................            10.7          24,391             n/a  see Sec.                     n/a
                                                                                 679.20(a)(7)(i)
                                                                                 (B).
Total hook-and-line/pot gear..            60.8         123,764             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Hook-and-line/pot ICA \1\.....             n/a             500             n/a  see Sec.                     n/a
                                                                                 679.20(a)(7)(ii
                                                                                 )(B).
Hook-and-line/pot sub-total...             n/a         123,264             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Hook-and-line catcher/                    48.7             n/a          98,733  Jan 1-Jun 10....          50,354
 processor.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Dec 31...          48,379
Hook-and-line catcher vessel               0.2             n/a             405  Jan 1-Jun 10....             207
 >= 60 ft LOA.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Dec 31...             199
Pot catcher/processor.........             1.5             n/a           3,041  Jan 1-Jun 10....           1,551
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Sept 1-Dec 31...           1,490
Pot catcher vessel >= 60 ft                8.4             n/a          17,030  Jan 1-Jun 10....           8,685
 LOA.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Sept 1-Dec 31...           8,345
Catcher vessel < 60 ft LOA                   2             n/a           4,055  n/a.............             n/a
 using hook-and-line or pot
 gear.
Trawl catcher vessel..........            22.1          44,987             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....          33,290
                                                                                Apr 1-Jun 10....           4,949
                                                                                Jun 10-Nov 1....           6,748
AFA trawl catcher/processor...             2.3           4,682             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....           3,511
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....           1,170
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....               0
Amendment 80..................            13.4          27,277             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....          20,458
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....           6,819
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....               0
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative.             n/a             n/a           5,079  Jan 20-Apr 1....           3,809
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....           1,270
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....               0
Alaska Seafood Cooperative....             n/a             n/a          22,198  Jan 20-Apr 1....          16,649
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....           5,550
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....               0
Jig...........................             1.4           2,850             n/a  Jan 1-Apr 30....           1,710
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 30-Aug 31...             570
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Aug 31-Dec 31...             570
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC
  allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator approves an ICA of 500 mt based on
  anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


              Table 5b--Final 2012 Gear Shares and Seasonal Allowances of the BSAI Pacific Cod TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                 Seasonal apportionment \2\ \3\
          Gear sector               Percent      Share of gear     Share of    ---------------------------------
                                                 sector total    sector total         Dates           Amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total TAC.....................             100         229,608             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
CDQ...........................            10.7          24,568             n/a  see Sec.                     n/a
                                                                                 679.20(a)(7)(i)
                                                                                 (B).
Total hook-and-line/pot gear..            60.8         124,664             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Hook-and-line/pot ICA \1\.....             n/a             500             n/a  see Sec.                     n/a
                                                                                 679.20(a)(7)(ii
                                                                                 )(B).
Hook-and-line/pot sub-total...             n/a         124,164             n/a  n/a.............             n/a
Hook-and-line catcher/                    48.7             n/a          99,454  Jan 1-Jun 10....          50,722
 processor.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Dec 31...          48,732

[[Page 11148]]

 
Hook-and-line catcher vessel               0.2             n/a             408  Jan 1-Jun 10....             208
 >= 60 ft LOA.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Dec 31...             200
Pot catcher/processor.........             1.5             n/a           3,063  Jan 1-Jun 10....           1,562
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Sept 1-Dec 31...           1,501
Pot catcher vessel >= 60 ft                8.4             n/a          17,154  Jan 1-Jun 10....           8,749
 LOA.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Sept 1-Dec 31...           8,406
Catcher vessel < 60 ft LOA                   2             n/a           4,084  n/a.............             n/a
 using hook-and-line or pot
 gear.
Trawl catcher vessel..........            22.1          45,314             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....          33,532
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....           4,985
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....           6,797
AFA trawl catcher/processor...             2.3           4,716             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....           3,537
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....           1,179
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....               0
Amendment 80..................            13.4          27,475             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1....          20,607
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....           6,869
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....               0
Amendment 80 limited access                n/a             n/a  see footnote 2  Jan 20-Apr 1....             75%
 \2\.
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....             25%
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....               0
Amendment 80 cooperatives \2\.             n/a             n/a  see footnote 2  Jan 20-Apr 1....             75%
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 1-Jun 10....             25%
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Jun 10-Nov 1....               0
Jig...........................             1.4           2,871             n/a  Jan 1-Apr 30....           1,722
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Apr 30-Aug 31...             574
                                ..............  ..............  ..............  Aug 31-Dec 31...             574
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The ICA for the hook-and-line and pot sectors will be deducted from the aggregate portion of Pacific cod TAC
  allocated to the hook-and-line and pot sectors. The Regional Administrator approves an ICA of 500 mt based on
  anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries.
\2\ The 2012 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited
  access sector will not be known November 1, 2011, the date by which the applicants eligible to apply for
  participation in the Amendment 80 program must file their application.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

Sablefish Gear Allocation

    Sections 679.20(a)(4)(iii) and (iv) require the allocation of 
sablefish TACs for the BS and AI subareas between trawl and hook-and-
line or pot gear. Gear allocations of the TACs for the BS subarea are 
50 percent for trawl gear and 50 percent for hook-and-line or pot gear. 
Gear allocations of the TACs for the AI subarea are 25 percent for 
trawl gear and 75 percent for hook-and-line or pot gear. Section 
679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires apportionment of 20 percent of the hook-
and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish to the CDQ reserve. 
Additionally, Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D) requires apportionment of 7.5 
percent of the trawl gear allocation of sablefish from the nonspecified 
reserves, established under Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(i), to the CDQ reserve. 
The Council recommended that only trawl sablefish TAC be established 
biennially. This is because the harvest specifications for the hook-
and-line gear and pot gear sablefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) 
fisheries will be limited to the 2011 fishing year to ensure those 
fisheries are conducted concurrently with the halibut IFQ fishery. 
Concurrent sablefish and halibut IFQ fisheries reduce the potential for 
discards of halibut and sablefish in those fisheries. The sablefish IFQ 
fisheries will remain closed at the beginning of each fishing year 
until the final specifications for the sablefish IFQ fisheries are in 
effect. Table 6 lists the 2011 and 2012 gear allocations of the 
sablefish TAC and CDQ reserve amounts.

                                     Table 6--Final 2011 and 2012 Gear Shares and CDQ Reserve of BSAI Sablefish TACs
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Percent of   2011 Share                 2011 CDQ    2012 Share                 2012 CDQ
                       Subarea and gear                            TAC         of TAC     2011 ITAC     reserve       of TAC     2012 ITAC     reserve
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea:
    Trawl \1\................................................           50        1,425        1,211          107        1,305        1,109           98
    Hook-and-line/pot gear \2\...............................           50        1,425        1,140          285          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total................................................          100        2,850        2,351          392        1,305        1,109           98
Aleutian Islands:
    Trawl \1\................................................           25          475          404           36          435          370           33
    Hook-and-line/pot gear \2\...............................           75        1,425        1,140          285          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 11149]]

 
        Total................................................          100        1,900        1,544          321          435          370           33
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Except for the sablefish hook-and-line or pot gear allocation, 15 percent of TAC is apportioned to the reserve. The ITAC is the remainder of the TAC
  after the subtraction of these reserves.
\2\ For the portion of the sablefish TAC allocated to vessels using hook-and-line or pot gear, 20 percent of the allocated TAC is reserved for use by
  CDQ participants. The Council recommended that specifications for the hook-and-line gear sablefish IFQ fisheries be limited to one year.

Allocation of the AI Pacific Ocean Perch, and BSAI Flathead Sole, Rock 
Sole, and Yellowfin Sole TACs

    Sections 679.20(a)(10)(i) and (ii) require the allocation between 
the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access sector for AI 
Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin 
sole TACs, after subtraction of 10.7 percent for the CDQ reserve and an 
ICA for the BSAI trawl limited access sector and vessels using non-
trawl gear. The allocation of the ITAC for AI Pacific ocean perch, and 
BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole to the Amendment 80 
sector is established in accordance with Tables 33 and 34 to part 679 
and Sec.  679.91. The 2012 allocations for Amendment 80 species between 
Amendment 80 cooperatives and limited access sector will not be known 
until November 1, 2011, the date by which the applicants eligible to 
apply for participation in the Amendment 80 program must file their 
application. Amendment 80 applications for 2012 have not yet been 
submitted to NMFS, thereby preventing NMFS from calculating 2012 
allocations. NMFS will post 2012 Amendment 80 allocations when they 
become available in December, 2011. Table 7a and 7b lists the 2011 and 
2012 allocations of the AI Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI flathead sole, 
rock sole, and yellowfin sole TACs.

 Table 7a--Final 2011 Community Development Quota (CDQ) Reserves, Incidental Catch Amounts (ICAS), and Amendment 80 Allocations of the Aleutian Islands
                                     Pacific Ocean Perch, and BSAI Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole TACs
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Pacific ocean perch                  Flathead sole      Rock sole      Yellowfin sole
                                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Sector                            Eastern          Central          Western
                                                        Aleutian         Aleutian         Aleutian           BSAI             BSAI             BSAI
                                                        District         District         District
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC...............................................            5,660            4,960            8,370           41,548           85,000          196,000
CDQ...............................................              606              531              896            4,446            9,095           20,972
ICA...............................................              100               75               10            5,000            5,000            2,000
BSAI trawl limited access.........................              495              435              149                0                0           34,153
Amendment 80......................................            4,459            3,919            7,315           32,102           70,905          138,875
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative.....................            2,364            2,078            3,879            6,269           19,902           58,948
Alaska Seafood Cooperative........................            2,095            1,841            3,436           25,833           51,003           79,926
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


 Table 7b--Final 2012 Community Development Quota (CDQ) Reserves, Incidental Catch Amounts (ICAS), and Amendment 80 Allocations of the Aleutian Islands
                                     Pacific Ocean Perch, and BSAI Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole TACs
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Pacific ocean perch                  Flathead sole      Rock sole      Yellowfin sole
                                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Sector                            Eastern          Central          Western
                                                        Aleutian         Aleutian         Aleutian           BSAI             BSAI             BSAI
                                                        District         District         District
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC...............................................            5,660            4,960            8,370           41,548           85,000          197,660
CDQ...............................................              606              531              896            4,446            9,095           21,150
ICA...............................................              100               75               10            5,000            5,000            2,000
BSAI trawl limited access.........................              495              435              149                0                0           34,746
Amendment 80 \1\..................................            4,459            3,919            7,315           32,102           70,905          139,764
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2012 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until
  November 1, 2011, the date by which the applicants eligible to apply for participation in the Amendment 80 program must file their application.
Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

Allocation of PSC Limits for Halibut, Salmon, Crab, and Herring

    Section 679.21(e) sets forth the BSAI PSC limits. Pursuant to Sec.  
679.21(e)(1)(iv) and (e)(2), the 2011 and 2012 BSAI halibut mortality 
limits are 3,675 mt for trawl fisheries and 900 mt for the non-trawl 
fisheries. Sections 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(2) and (e)(4)(i)(A) allocate 326 
mt of the trawl halibut mortality limit and 7.5 percent, or 67 mt, of 
the non-trawl halibut mortality

[[Page 11150]]

limit as the PSQ reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program.
    Section 679.21(e)(4)(i) authorizes the apportionment of the non-
trawl halibut PSC limit into PSC bycatch allowances among six fishery 
categories. Table 8c lists the fishery bycatch allowances for the trawl 
and non-trawl fisheries.
    Pursuant to section 3.6 of the BSAI FMP, the Council recommends, 
and NMFS agrees, that certain specified non-trawl fisheries be exempt 
from the halibut PSC limit. As in past years after consultation with 
the Council, NMFS exempts pot gear, jig gear, and the sablefish IFQ 
hook-and-line gear fishery categories from halibut bycatch restrictions 
for the following reasons: (1) The pot gear fisheries have low halibut 
bycatch mortality; (2) NMFS estimates halibut mortality for the jig 
gear fleet to be negligible because of the small size of the fishery 
and the selectivity of the gear; and (3) the sablefish and halibut IFQ 
fisheries have low halibut bycatch mortality because the IFQ program 
requires legal-size halibut to be retained by vessels using hook-and-
line gear if a halibut IFQ permit holder or a hired master is aboard 
and is holding unused halibut IFQ (subpart D of 50 CFR part 679). In 
2010, total groundfish catch for the pot gear fishery in the BSAI was 
approximately 23,028 mt, with an associated halibut bycatch mortality 
of about 4 mt.
    The 2010 jig gear fishery harvested about 344 mt of groundfish. 
Most vessels in the jig gear fleet are less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA and 
thus are exempt from observer coverage requirements. As a result, 
observer data are not available on halibut bycatch in the jig gear 
fishery. However, as mentioned above, NMFS estimates a negligible 
amount of halibut bycatch mortality because of the selective nature of 
jig gear and the low mortality rate of halibut caught with jig gear and 
released.
    In January 2011, NMFS implemented Amendment 91 to the FMP, Sec.  
679.21(f)(2), to annually allocate portions of either 47,591 or 60,000 
Chinook salmon PSC among the AFA sectors depending upon past catch 
performance and upon whether or not Chinook salmon bycatch incentive 
plan agreements are formed. If an AFA sector participates in an 
approved Chinook salmon bycatch incentive plan agreement, then NMFS 
will allocate a portion of the 60,000 PSC limit to that sector as 
specified in Sec.  679.21(f)(3)(iii)(A). If no Chinook salmon bycatch 
incentive plan agreement is approved, or if the sector has exceeded its 
performance standard under Sec.  679.21(f)(6), NMFS will allocate a 
portion of the 47,591 Chinook salmon PSC limit to that sector as 
specified in Sec.  679.21(f)(3)(iii)(B). In 2011, the Chinook salmon 
PSC limit is 60,000 and the AFA sector Chinook salmon allocations are 
seasonally allocated with 70 percent of the allocation for the A season 
pollock fishery, and 30 percent of the allocation for the B season 
pollock fishery as stated in Sec.  679.21(f)(3)(iii)(A). The basis for 
these PSC limits is described in detail in the final rule implementing 
management measures for Amendment 91 (75 FR 53026, August 30, 2010). 
NMFS publishes the approved Chinook salmon bycatch incentive plan 
agreements, 2011 allocations and reports at: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/bycatch/default.htm.
    Section 679.21(e)(1)(viii) specifies 700 fish as the 2011 and 2012 
Chinook salmon PSC limit for the AI subarea pollock fishery. Section 
679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(3)(i) allocates 7.5 percent, or 53 Chinook salmon, 
as the AI subarea PSQ for the CDQ program and allocates the remaining 
647 Chinook salmon to the non-CDQ fisheries.
    Section 679.21(e)(1)(vii) specifies 42,000 fish as the 2011 and 
2012 non-Chinook salmon PSC limit. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(3)(ii) 
allocates 10.7 percent, or 4,494 non-Chinook salmon, as the PSQ for the 
CDQ program and allocates the remaining 37,506 non-Chinook salmon to 
the non-CDQ fisheries.
    PSC limits for crab and herring are specified annually based on 
abundance and spawning biomass. Pursuant to Sec.  
679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(1), 10.7 percent from each trawl gear PSC limit 
specified for crab is allocated as a PSQ reserve for use by the 
groundfish CDQ program.
    Based on the 2010 survey data, the red king crab mature female 
abundance is estimated at 31.5 million red king crabs, and the 
effective spawning biomass is estimated at 67.4 million lb. Based on 
the criteria set out at Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(i), the 2011 and 2012 PSC 
limit of red king crab in Zone 1 for trawl gear is 197,000 animals. 
This limit derives from the mature female abundance of more than 8.4 
million king crab and the effective spawning biomass estimate of more 
than 55 million lb (24,948 mt).
    Section 679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)(2) establishes criteria under which 
NMFS must specify an annual red king crab bycatch limit for the Red 
King Crab Savings Subarea (RKCSS). The regulations limit the RKCSS to 
up to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC limit based on the need to 
optimize the groundfish harvest relative to red king crab bycatch. In 
December 2010, the Council recommended that the red king crab bycatch 
limit be equal to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC limit within the 
RKCSS (Table 8b). NMFS concurs in the Council's recommendation.
    Based on 2010 survey data, Tanner crab (Chionoecetes bairdi) 
abundance is estimated at 379 million animals. Pursuant to criteria set 
out at Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(ii), the calculated 2011 and 2012 C. bairdi 
crab PSC limit for trawl gear is 830,000 animals in Zone 1 and 
2,520,000 animals in Zone 2. These limits are derived from the C. 
bairdi crab abundance estimate being in excess of the 270 million 
animals for the Zone 1 allocation and 290 million animals for the Zone 
2 allocation, but less than 400 million animals for both Zone 
allocations.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(iii), the PSC limit for snow crab 
(C. opilio) is based on total abundance as indicated by the NMFS annual 
bottom trawl survey. The C. opilio crab PSC limit is set at 0.1133 
percent of the BS abundance index minus 150,000 crab if left 
unadjusted. However, if the abundance is less than 4.5 million animals, 
the minimum PSC limit will be 4,350,000 animals pursuant to Sec.  
679.21(e)(1)(iii)(A) and (B). Based on the 2010 survey estimate of 
7.467 billion animals, the calculated limit is 8,310,480 animals.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(v), the PSC limit of Pacific herring 
caught while conducting any trawl operation for BSAI groundfish is 1 
percent of the annual eastern BS herring biomass. The best estimate of 
2011 and 2012 herring biomass is 227,269 mt. This amount was derived 
using 2010 survey data and an age-structured biomass projection model 
developed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Therefore, the 
herring PSC limit for 2011 and 2012 is 2,273 mt for all trawl gear as 
presented in Tables 8a and b.
    Section 679.21(e)(3)(A) requires PSQ reserves to be subtracted from 
the total trawl PSC limits. The amounts of 2011 PSC limits assigned to 
the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors are specified in 
Table 35 to part 679. The resulting allocation of PSC limit to CDQ PSQ, 
the Amendment 80 sector, and the BSAI trawl limited access fisheries 
are listed in Table 8a. Pursuant to Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(iv) and Sec.  
679.91(d) through (f), crab and halibut trawl PSC limits assigned to 
the Amendment 80 sector are then further allocated to Amendment 80 
cooperatives as PSC cooperative quota (CQ) as listed in Table 8d. PSC 
CQ assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives is not allocated to specific 
fishery categories. In 2011, there are no

[[Page 11151]]

vessels in the Amendment 80 limited access sector. NMFS will not know 
the 2012 PSC allocations between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the 
Amendment 80 limited access sector until November 1, 2011, the date by 
which the applicants eligible to apply for participation in the 
Amendment 80 program must file their application. Section 
679.21(e)(3)(i)(B) requires the apportionment of each trawl PSC limit 
not assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives into PSC bycatch allowances 
for seven specified fishery categories.
    Section 679.21(e)(5) authorizes NMFS, after consultation with the 
Council, to establish seasonal apportionments of PSC amounts for the 
BSAI trawl limited access and Amendment 80 limited access sectors in 
order to maximize the ability of the fleet to harvest the available 
groundfish TAC and to minimize bycatch. The factors to be considered 
are (1) Seasonal distribution of prohibited species; (2) seasonal 
distribution of target groundfish species; (3) PSC bycatch needs on a 
seasonal basis relevant to prohibited species biomass; (4) expected 
variations in bycatch rates throughout the year; (5) expected start of 
fishing effort; and (6) economic effects of seasonal PSC apportionments 
on industry sectors. The Council recommended and NMFS approves the 
seasonal PSC apportionments in Table 8c to maximize harvest among gear 
types, fisheries, and seasons while minimizing bycatch of PSC based on 
the above criteria.

 Table 8a--Final 2011 and 2012 Apportionment of Prohibited Species Catch Allowances to Non-Trawl Gear, the CDQ Program, Amendment 80, and the BSAI Trawl
                                                                 Limited Access Sectors
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Non-trawl                                             Amendment 80 sector
                                                                   PSC                    Trawl PSC               --------------------------  BSAI trawl
                   PSC species                     Total non-   remaining   Total trawl   remaining     CDQ PSQ                                limited
                                                   trawl PSC    after CDQ       PSC       after CDQ   reserve \1\      2011         2012        access
                                                                 PSQ \1\                   PSQ \1\                                             fishery
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI.....................          900          832        3,675        3,349          393        2,375        2,325          875
Herring (mt) BSAI...............................          n/a          n/a        2,273          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 \2\..............          n/a          n/a      197,000      175,921       21,079       93,432       87,925       53,797
C. opilio (animals) COBLZ \2\...................          n/a          n/a    8,310,480    7,421,259      889,221    3,875,381    3,647,549    2,385,193
C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 1 \2\.............          n/a          n/a      830,000      741,190       88,810      331,608      312,115      348,285
C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 2 \2\.............          n/a          n/a    2,520,000    2,250,360      269,640      565,966      532,660    1,053,394
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(2) allocates 326 mt of the trawl halibut mortality limit and Sec.   679.21(e)(4)(i)(A) allocates 7.5 percent, or 67 mt,
  of the non-trawl halibut mortality limit as the PSQ reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program. The PSQ reserve for crab species is 10.7 percent of
  each crab PSC limit.
\2\ Refer to Sec.   679.2 for definitions of zones.
Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


 Table 8b--Final 2011 and 2012 Herring and Red King Crab Savings Subarea
        Prohibited Species Catch Allowances for all Trawl Sectors
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Red king crab
          Fishery categories              Herring (mt)    (animals) Zone
                                              BSAI              1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yellowfin sole........................              195              n/a
Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish               33              n/a
 \1\..................................
Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish \2\.......               16              n/a
Rockfish..............................               12              n/a
Pacific cod...........................               33              n/a
Midwater trawl pollock................            1,737              n/a
Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species 3,              247              n/a
 4....................................
Red king crab savings subarea non-                  n/a           49,250
 pelagic trawl gear \5\...............
                                       ---------------------------------
    Total trawl PSC...................            2,273          197,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ ``Other flatfish'' for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species,
  except for halibut (a prohibited species), arrowtooth flounder,
  flathead sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, rock sole, and
  yellowfin sole.
\2\ ``Arrowtooth flounder'' for PSC monitoring includes Kamchatka
  flounder.
\3\ Pollock other than pelagic trawl pollock, Atka mackerel, and ``other
  species'' fishery category.
\4\ ``Other species'' for PSC monitoring includes octopuses, sculpins,
  sharks, and skates.
\5\ In December 2010, the Council recommended that the red king crab
  bycatch limit for non-pelagic trawl fisheries within the RKCSS be
  limited to 25 percent of the red king crab PSC allowance (see Sec.
  679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)(2)).


          Table 8c--Final 2011 and 2012 Prohibited Species Bycatch Allowances for the BSAI Trawl Limited Access Sector and Non-Trawl Fisheries
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                             Prohibited species and area \1\
                                                               -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              BSAI trawl limited access fisheries                                      Red king crab      C. opilio            C. bairdi (animals)
                                                                  Halibut mortality   (animals)  Zone     (animals)    ---------------------------------
                                                                      (mt) BSAI              1              COBLZ            Zone 1           Zone 2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yellowfin sole................................................                   167           47,397        2,247,640          293,234        1,005,879
Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish \2\....................                     0                0                0                0                0
Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish \3\...............................                     0                0                0                0                0
Rockfish April 15-December 31.................................                     5                0            3,821                0              849
Pacific cod...................................................                   453            6,000           95,523           50,816           42,424
Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species \4\.......................                   250              400           38,209            4,235            4,242
Total BSAI trawl limited access PSC...........................                   875           53,797        2,385,193          348,285        1,053,394
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 11152]]


                   Non-trawl fisheries                     Catcher/     Catcher
                                                           processor      vessel
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod--Total......................................         760          15
January 1-June 10.......................................         455          10
June 10-August 15.......................................         190           3
August 15-December 31...................................         115           2
                                                         ------------------------
Other non-trawl--Total..................................                58
May 1--December 31......................................                58
Groundfish pot and jig..................................            Exempt
Sablefish hook-and-line.................................            Exempt
Total non-trawl PSC.....................................               833
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Refer to Sec.   679.2 for definitions of areas.
\2\ ``Other flatfish'' for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), flathead sole, Greenland turbot,
  rock sole, yellowfin sole, Kamchatka flounder, and arrowtooth flounder.
\3\ Arrowtooth flounder for PSC monitoring includes Kamchatka flounder.
\4\ ``Other species'' for PSC monitoring includes octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates.


                             Table 8d-Final 2011 Prohibited Species Bycatch Allowance for the BSAI Amendment 80 Cooperatives
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                              Prohibited species and zones \1\
                                                                  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           Cooperative                                                 Red king crab                           C. bairdi (animals)
                                                                   Halibut mortality   (animals) Zone     C. opilio    ---------------------------------
                                                                       (mt) BSAI             1         (animals) COBLZ       Zone 1           Zone 2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska Seafood Cooperative.......................................              1,643           63,631        2,502,043          233,442          390,500
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative....................................                732           29,801        1,373,339           98,167          175,465
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Refer to Sec.   679.2 for definitions of zones.
Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

Halibut Discard Mortality Rates (DMR)

    To monitor halibut bycatch mortality allowances and apportionments, 
the Regional Administrator uses observed halibut bycatch rates, DMRs, 
and estimates of groundfish catch to project when a fishery's halibut 
bycatch mortality allowance or seasonal apportionment is reached. The 
DMRs are based on the best information available, including information 
contained in the annual SAFE report.
    NMFS approves the halibut DMRs developed and recommended by the 
IPHC and the Council for the 2011 and 2012 BSAI groundfish fisheries 
for use in monitoring the 2011 and 2012 halibut bycatch allowances (see 
Tables 8a-d). The IPHC developed these DMRs for the 2010 and 2012 BSAI 
fisheries using the 10-year mean DMRs for those fisheries. The IPHC 
will analyze observer data annually and recommend changes to the DMRs 
when a fishery DMR shows large variation from the mean. The document 
justifying these DMRs is available in Appendix 2 in the final 2010 SAFE 
report dated November 2010 (see ADDRESSES). Table 9 lists the 2011 and 
2012 DMRs.

Table 9--Final 2011 and 2012 Pacific Halibut Discard Mortality Rates for
                                the BSAI
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Halibut
                                                               discard
                Gear                       Fishery \1\        mortality
                                                                 rate
                                                              (percent)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Non-CDQ hook-and-line..............  Greenland turbot......           11
                                     Other species.........           10
                                     Pacific cod...........           10
                                     Rockfish..............            9
Non-CDQ trawl......................  Arrowtooth flounder...           76
                                     Atka mackerel.........           76
                                     Flathead sole.........           74
                                     Greenland turbot......           67
                                     Non-pelagic pollock...           73
                                     Pelagic pollock.......           89
                                     Other flatfish........           72
                                     Other species.........           71
                                     Pacific cod...........           71
                                     Rockfish..............           81
                                     Rock sole.............           82
                                     Sablefish.............           75
                                     Yellowfin sole........           81
Non-CDQ Pot........................  Other species \2\.....            8
                                     Pacific cod...........            8
CDQ trawl..........................  Atka mackerel.........           85
                                     Greenland turbot......           88
                                     Flathead sole.........           84

[[Page 11153]]

 
                                     Non-pelagic pollock...           85
                                     Pacific cod...........           90
                                     Pelagic pollock.......           90
                                     Rockfish..............           84
                                     Rock sole.............           87
                                     Yellowfin sole........           85
CDQ hook-and-line..................  Greenland turbot......            4
                                     Pacific cod...........           10
CDQ pot............................  Pacific cod...........            8
                                     Sablefish.............           32
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Arrowtooth flounder includes Kamchatka flounder.
\2\ ``Other species'' includes octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates.

Directed Fishing Closures

    In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional 
Administrator may establish a DFA for a species or species group if the 
Regional Administrator determines that any allocation or apportionment 
of a target species has been or will be reached. 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 subarea or 
district (see Sec.  697.20(d)(1)(iii)). Similarly, pursuant to Sec.  
679.21(e), if the Regional Administrator determines that a fishery 
category's bycatch allowance of halibut, red king crab, C. bairdi crab, 
or C. opilio crab for a specified area has been reached, the Regional 
Administrator will prohibit directed fishing for each species in that 
category in the specified area.
    Based upon historic catch patterns and anticipated fishing 
activity, the Regional Administrator has determined that the groundfish 
allocation amounts in Table 10 will be necessary as incidental catch to 
support other anticipated groundfish fisheries for the 2011 and 2012 
fishing years. Consequently, in accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), 
the Regional Administrator establishes the DFA for the species and 
species groups in Table 10 as zero. Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for these 
sectors and species in the specified areas effective at 1200 hrs, 
A.l.t., March 1, 2011, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2012. 
Also, for the BSAI trawl limited access sector, bycatch allowances of 
halibut, red king crab, C. bairdi crab, and C. opilio crab listed in 
Table 10 are insufficient to support directed fisheries. Therefore, in 
accordance with Sec.  679.21(e)(7), NMFS is prohibiting directed 
fishing for these sectors and fishery categories in the specified areas 
effective at 1200 hrs, A.l.t., March 1, 2011, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., 
December 31, 2012.

                              Table 10--2011 and 2012 Directed Fishing Closures \1\
           [Groundfish and halibut amounts are in metric tons. Crab amounts are in number of animals]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                               2011 Incidental   2012 Incidental
             Area                       Sector                Species          catch allowance   catch allowance
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bogoslof District.............  All..................  Pollock..............               150               150
Aleutian Islands subarea......  All..................  ICA pollock..........             1,600             1,600
                                                       ``Other rockfish''...               425               425
Eastern Aleutian District/      Non-amendment 80 and   ICA Atka mackerel....                75                75
 Bering Sea.                     BSAI trawl limited
                                 access.
Eastern Aleutian District/      All..................  Rougheye rockfish....               234               240
 Bering Sea.
Eastern Aleutian District.....  Non-amendment 80 and   ICA Pacific ocean                   100               100
                                 BSAI trawl limited     perch.
                                 access.
Central Aleutian District.....  Non-amendment 80 and   ICA Atka mackerel....                75                75
                                 BSAI trawl limited
                                 access.
                                                       ICA Pacific ocean                    75                75
                                                        perch.
Western Aleutian District.....  Non-amendment 80 and   ICA Atka mackerel....                40                40
                                 BSAI trawl limited
                                 access.
                                                       ICA Pacific ocean                    10                10
                                                        perch.
Central and Western Aleutian    All..................  Rougheye rockfish....               220               225
 Districts.
Bering Sea subarea............  All..................  Pacific ocean perch..             4,854             4,854
                                                       ``Other rockfish''...               500               500
                                                       ICA pollock..........            45,072            45,132
Bering Sea and Aleutian         All..................  Northern rockfish....             4,000             4,000
 Islands.
                                                       Shortraker rockfish..               393               393
                                                       Squids...............               361               361
                                                       Skates...............            14,025            14,025
                                                       Sharks...............                43                43
                                                       Octopuses............               128               128

[[Page 11154]]

 
                                                       Sculpins.............             4,420             4,420
                                Hook-and-line and pot  ICA Pacific cod......               500               500
                                 gear.
                                Non-amendment 80.....  ICA flathead sole....             5,000             5,000
                                ICA rock sole........  10,000...............            10,000
                                Non-amendment 80 and   ICA yellowfin sole...             2,000             2,000
                                 BSAI trawl limited
                                 access.
                                BSAI trawl limited     Rock sole/flathead                    0                 0
                                 access.                sole/other flatfish--
                                                        halibut mortality,
                                                        red king crab zone
                                                        1, C. opilio COBLZ,
                                                        C. bairdi Zone 1 and
                                                        2.
                                                       Turbot/arrowtooth/                    0                 0
                                                        sablefish--halibut
                                                        mortality, red king
                                                        crab zone 1, C.
                                                        opilio COBLZ, C.
                                                        bairdi Zone 1 and 2.
                                                       Rockfish--red king                    0                 0
                                                        crab zone 1.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Maximum retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679.

    Closures implemented under the 2010 and 2011 BSAI harvest 
specifications for groundfish (75 FR 11778, March 12, 2010) remain 
effective under authority of these final 2011 and 2012 harvest 
specifications, and are posted at the following Web sites: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/index/infobulletins/infobulletins.asp?Yr=2011 
and http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/2011/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.

Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program

    On June 6, 2005, the Council adopted the Rockfish Program to meet 
the requirements of Section 802 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 
of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-199). The basis for the BSAI fishing prohibitions 
and the CV BSAI Pacific cod sideboard limits of the Rockfish Program 
are discussed in detail in the final rule for Amendment 68 to the 
Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (71 FR 
67210, November 20, 2006). Pursuant to Sec.  679.82(d)(6)(i), the CV 
BSAI Pacific cod sideboard limit is 0.0 mt. Therefore, in accordance 
with Sec.  679.82(d)(7)(ii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for 
BSAI Pacific cod in July for CVs under the Rockfish Program sideboard 
limitations.
    The Rockfish Program will expire in December 2011. In June 2010, 
the Council proposed a new program to supersede the existing Rockfish 
Program by 2012. NMFS is developing rulemaking to implement the 
Council's revised program. The revised program, if approved by the 
Secretary, may affect the harvest specifications for 2012.

Listed AFA Catcher/Processor Sideboard Limits

    Pursuant to Sec.  679.64(a), the Regional Administrator is 
responsible for restricting the ability of listed AFA C/Ps to engage in 
directed fishing for groundfish species other than pollock to protect 
participants in other groundfish fisheries from adverse effects 
resulting from the AFA and from fishery cooperatives in the directed 
pollock fishery. The basis for these sideboard limits is described in 
detail in the final rules implementing the major provisions of the AFA 
(67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, 
September 14, 2007). Table 11 lists the 2011 and 2012 C/P sideboard 
limits.
    All harvest of groundfish sideboard species by listed AFA C/Ps, 
whether as targeted catch or incidental catch, will be deducted from 
the sideboard limits in Table 11. However, groundfish sideboard species 
that are delivered to listed AFA C/Ps by CVs will not be deducted from 
the 2011 and 2012 sideboard limits for the listed AFA C/Ps.

                     Table 11--Final 2011 and 2012 Listed BSAI American Fisheries Act Catcher/Processor Groundfish Sideboard Limits
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             1995-1997
                                                              ---------------------------------------  2011 ITAC                 2012 ITAC
                                                                                           Ratio of    available   2011 AFA C/   available   2012 AFA  C/
           Target species                       Area             Retained                  retained   to trawl C/    P  side-   to trawl C/    P  side-
                                                                  catch     Total catch    catch to      Ps \1\    board limit     Ps \1\    board limit
                                                                                         total catch
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish trawl.....................  BS.....................            8          497        0.016        1,211           19        1,109           18
                                      AI.....................            0          145            0          404            0          370            0
Atka mackerel.......................  Central AI A season \2\          n/a          n/a        0.115        5,037          579        4,596          529
                                         B season \2\........          n/a          n/a        0.115        5,037          579        4,596          529
                                      Western AI A season \2\          n/a          n/a          0.2          670          134          670          134
                                         B season \2\........          n/a          n/a          0.2          670          134          670          134
Rock sole...........................  BSAI...................        6,317      169,362        0.037       75,905        2,808       75,905        2,808
Greenland turbot....................  BS.....................          121       17,305        0.007        2,975           21        2,975           21
                                      AI.....................           23        4,987        0.005        1,318            7        1,233            6
Arrowtooth flounder.................  BSAI...................           76       33,987        0.002       22,015           44       22,015           44
Kamchatka flounder..................  BSAI...................           76       33,987        0.002       15,045           30       15,045           30
Flathead sole.......................  BSAI...................        1,925       52,755        0.036       37,102        1,336       37,102        1,336

[[Page 11155]]

 
Alaska plaice.......................  BSAI...................           14        9,438        0.001       13,600           14       13,600           14
Other flatfish......................  BSAI...................        3,058       52,298        0.058        2,550          148        2,550          148
Pacific ocean perch.................  BS.....................           12        4,879        0.002        4,854           10        4,854           10
                                      Eastern AI.............          125        6,179         0.02        5,054          101        5,054          101
                                      Central AI.............            3        5,698        0.001        4,429            4        4,429            4
                                      Western AI.............           54       13,598        0.004        7,474           30        7,474           30
Northern rockfish...................  BSAI...................           91       13,040        0.007        4,000           28        4,000           28
Shortraker rockfish.................  BSAI...................           50        2,811        0.018          393            7          393            7
Rougheye rockfish...................  EBS/EAI................           50        2,811        0.018          234            4          240            4
                                      CAI/WAI................           50        2,811        0.018          220            4          225            4
Other rockfish......................  BS.....................           18          621        0.029          500           15          500           15
                                      AI.....................           22          806        0.027          425           11          425           11
Squid...............................  BSAI...................           73        3,328        0.022          361            8          361            8
Skates..............................  BSAI...................          553       68,672        0.008       14,025          112       14,025          112
Sharks..............................  BSAI...................          553       68,672        0.008           43            0           43            0
Octopuses...........................  BSAI...................          553       68,672        0.008          128            1          128            1
Sculpins............................  BSAI...................          553       68,672        0.008        4,420           35        4,420           35
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, yellowfin sole are multiplied by the remainder of the TAC
  after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C).
\2\ The seasonal apportionment of Atka mackerel in the open access fishery is 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. Listed AFA
  catcher/processors are limited to harvesting no more than zero in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea, 20 percent of the annual ITAC
  specified for the Western Aleutian District, and 11.5 percent of the annual ITAC specified for the Central Aleutian District.

     Section 679.64(a)(2) and Tables 40 and 41 of part 679 establish a 
formula for calculating PSC sideboard limits for listed AFA C/Ps. The 
basis for these sideboard limits is described in detail in the final 
rules implementing the major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, 
December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007).
    PSC species listed in Table 12 that are caught by listed AFA C/Ps 
participating in any groundfish fishery other than pollock will accrue 
against the 2011 and 2012 PSC sideboard limits for the listed AFA C/Ps. 
Section 679.21(e)(3)(v) authorizes NMFS to close directed fishing for 
groundfish other than pollock for listed AFA C/Ps once a 2011 or 2012 
PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 12 is reached.
    Crab or halibut PSC caught by listed AFA C/Ps while fishing for 
pollock will accrue against the bycatch allowances annually specified 
for either the midwater pollock or the pollock/Atka mackerel/``other 
species'' fishery categories under regulations at Sec.  
679.21(e)(3)(iv).

       Table 12--Final 2011 and 2012 BSAI AFA Listed Catcher/Processor Prohibited Species Sideboard Limits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   2011 and 2012
                                                                                   PSC available   2011 and 2012
                                                                   Ratio of PSC      to trawl        catcher/
                    PSC species and area \1\                      catch to total   vessels after     processor
                                                                        PSC       subtraction of     sideboard
                                                                                      PSQ \2\        limit \2\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halibut mortality BSAI..........................................             n/a             n/a             286
Red king crab zone 1............................................           0.007         175,921           1,231
C. opilio (COBLZ)...............................................           0.153       7,421,259       1,135,453
C. bairdi:
    Zone 1......................................................            0.14         741,190         103,767
    Zone 2......................................................            0.05       2,250,360         112,518
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Refer to Sec.   679.2 for definitions of areas.
\2\ Halibut amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals.

 AFA Catcher Vessel Sideboard Limits

    Pursuant to Sec.  679.64(a), the Regional Administrator is 
responsible for restricting the ability of AFA CVs to engage in 
directed fishing for groundfish species other than pollock to protect 
participants in other groundfish fisheries from adverse effects 
resulting from the AFA and from fishery cooperatives in the directed 
pollock fishery. Section 679.64(b) establishes a formula for setting 
AFA CV groundfish and PSC sideboard limits for the BSAI. The basis for 
these sideboard limits is described in detail in the final rules 
implementing the major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, December 30, 
2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007). Tables 13 and 
14 list the 2011 and 2012 AFA CV sideboard limits.
    All catch of groundfish sideboard species made by non-exempt AFA 
CVs, whether as targeted catch or incidental catch, will be deducted 
from the 2011 and 2012 sideboard limits listed in Table 13.

[[Page 11156]]



                          Table 13--Final 2011 and 2012 American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel BSAI Groundfish Sideboard Limits
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                           Ratio of
                                                                                          1995-1997                  2011 AFA                  2012 AFA
                                                                                            AFA CV        2011       catcher        2012       catcher
                    Species                            Fishery by area/gear/season         catch to   initial TAC     vessel    initial TAC     vessel
                                                                                          1995-1997       \1\       sideboard       \1\       sideboard
                                                                                             TAC                      limits                    limits
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod....................................  BSAI..................................            0          n/a            0          n/a            0
                                                 Jig gear..............................
                                                    Hook-and-line CV...................       0.0006          207            0          208            0
                                                 Jan 1-Jun 10..........................
                                                      Jun 10-Dec 31....................       0.0006          199            0          200            0
                                                    Pot gear CV........................       0.0006        8,685            5        8,749            5
                                                 Jan 1-Jun 10..........................
                                                      Sept 1-Dec 31....................       0.0006        8,345            5        8,406            5
                                                    CV < 60 feet LOA using hook-and-          0.0006        4,055            2        4,084            2
                                                     line or pot gear.
                                                    Trawl gear CV......................       0.8609       33,290       28,659       33,532       28,868
                                                 Jan 20-Apr 1..........................
                                                      Apr 1-Jun 10.....................       0.8609        4,949        4,261        4,985        4,292
                                                      Jun 10-Nov 1.....................       0.8609        6,748        5,809        6,797        5,852
Sablefish......................................  BS trawl gear.........................       0.0906        1,211          110        1,109          100
                                                 AI trawl gear.........................       0.0645          404           26          370           24
Atka mackerel..................................  Eastern AI/BS.........................       0.0032       17,994           58       16,431           53
                                                 Jan 1-Jun 10..........................
                                                    Jun 10-Nov 1.......................       0.0032       17,994           58       16,431           53
                                                 Central AI............................       0.0001        5,037            1        4,596            0
                                                 Jan 1-Jun 10..........................
                                                    Jun 10-Nov 1.......................       0.0001        5,037            1        4,596            0
                                                 Western AI............................            0          n/a            0          n/a            0
                                                 Jan 1-Jun 10..........................
                                                    Jun 10-Nov 1.......................            0          n/a            0          n/a            0
Rock sole......................................  BSAI..................................       0.0341       75,905        2,588       75,905        2,588
Greenland turbot...............................  BS....................................       0.0645        2,975          192        2,975          192
                                                 AI....................................       0.0205        1,318           27        1,233           25
Arrowtooth flounder............................  BSAI..................................        0.069       22,015        1,519       22,015        1,519
Kamchatka flounder.............................  BSAI..................................        0.069       15,045        1,038       15,045        1,038
Alaska plaice..................................  BSAI..................................       0.0441       13,600          600       13,600          600
Other flatfish.................................  BSAI..................................       0.0441        2,550          112        2,550          112
Flathead sole..................................  BS trawl gear.........................       0.0505       37,102        1,874       37,102        1,874
Pacific ocean perch............................  BS....................................          0.1        4,854          485        4,854          485
                                                 Eastern AI............................       0.0077        5,054           39        5,054           39
                                                 Central AI............................       0.0025        4,429           11        4,429           11
                                                 Western AI............................            0          n/a            0          n/a            0
Northern rockfish..............................  BSAI..................................       0.0084        4,000           34        4,000           34
Shortraker rockfish............................  BSAI..................................       0.0037          393            1          393            1
Rougheye rockfish..............................  EBS/EAI...............................       0.0037          234            1          240            1
                                                 CAI/WAI...............................       0.0037          220            1          225            1
Other rockfish.................................  BS....................................       0.0048          500            2          500            2
                                                 AI....................................       0.0095          425            4          425            4
Squids.........................................  BSAI..................................       0.3827          361          138          361          138
Skates.........................................  BSAI..................................       0.0541       14,025          759       14,025          759
Sharks.........................................  BSAI..................................       0.0541           43            2           43            2
Octopuses......................................  BSAI..................................       0.0541          128            7          128            7
Sculpins.......................................  BSAI..................................       0.0541        4,420          239        4,420          239
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI Atka mackerel, flathead sole, and rock sole are multiplied by the remainder of the TAC of that
  species after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C).

    Halibut and crab PSC limits listed in Table 14 that are caught by 
AFA CVs participating in any groundfish fishery for groundfish other 
than pollock will accrue against the 2011 and 2012 PSC sideboard limits 
for the AFA CVs. Sections 679.21(d)(8) and 679.21(e)(3)(v) authorize 
NMFS to close directed fishing for groundfish other than pollock for 
AFA CVs once a 2011 or 2012 PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 14 is 
reached. The PSC that is caught by AFA CVs while fishing for pollock in 
the BSAI will accrue against the bycatch allowances annually specified 
for either the midwater pollock or the pollock/Atka mackerel/``other 
species'' fishery categories under regulations at Sec.  
679.21(e)(3)(iv).

  Table 14--Final 2011 and 2012 American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel Prohibited Species Catch Sideboard Limits
                                                for the BSAI \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   2011 and 2012   2011 and 2012
                                                                    AFA catcher      PSC limit      AFA catcher
            PSC species              Target fishery category \2\    vessel PSC         after        vessel PSC
                                                                     sideboard    subtraction of     sideboard
                                                                    limit ratio    PSQ reserves        limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halibut............................  Pacific cod trawl..........             n/a             n/a             887
                                     Pacific cod hook-and-line               n/a             n/a               2
                                      or pot.

[[Page 11157]]

 
                                     Yellowfin sole total.......             n/a             n/a             101
                                     Rock sole/flathead sole/                n/a             n/a             228
                                      other flatfish \3\.
                                     Greenland turbot/arrowtooth/            n/a             n/a               0
                                      sablefish \4\.
                                     Rockfish...................             n/a             n/a               2
                                     Pollock/Atka mackerel/other             n/a             n/a               5
                                      species \5\.
Red king crab Zone 1 4, 6..........  n/a........................           0.299         175,921          52,600
C. opilio COBLZ 4, 6...............  n/a........................           0.168       7,421,259       1,246,771
C. bairdi Zone 1 4, 6..............  n/a........................            0.33         741,190         244,593
C. bairdi Zone 2 \6\...............  n/a........................           0.186       2,250,360         418,567
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Halibut amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals.
\2\ Target fishery categories are defined in regulation at Sec.   679.21(e)(3)(iv).
\3\ ``Other flatfish'' for PSC monitoring includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited
  species), flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Kamchatka flounder, and arrowtooth
  flounder.
\4\ Arrowtooth for PSC monitoring includes Kamchatka flounder.
\5\ ``Other species'' for PSC monitoring includes octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates.
\6\ Refer to Sec.   679.2 for definitions of areas.

AFA Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel Sideboard Directed Fishing 
Closures

    Based upon historical catch patterns, the Regional Administrator 
has determined that many of the AFA C/P and CV sideboard limits listed 
in Tables 15 and 16 are necessary as incidental catch to support other 
anticipated groundfish fisheries for the 2011 fishing year. In 
accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iv), the Regional Administrator 
establishes the sideboard limits listed in Tables 15 and 16 as DFAs. 
Because many of these DFAs will be reached before the end of the year, 
the Regional Administrator has determined, in accordance with Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)(iii), that NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing by listed 
AFA C/Ps for the species in the specified areas set out in Table 15 and 
directed fishing by non-exempt AFA CVs for the species in the specified 
areas set out in Table 16.

    Table 15--Final 2011 and 2012 American Fisheries Act Listed Catcher/Processor Sideboard Directed Fishing
                                                  Closures \1\
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                            2011         2012
               Species                          Area                  Gear types         sideboard    sideboard
                                                                                           limit        limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish trawl.....................  BS.....................  trawl..................           19           18
                                      AI.....................  trawl..................            0            0
Rock sole...........................  BSAI...................  all....................        2,808        2,808
Greenland turbot....................  BS.....................  all....................           21           21
                                      AI.....................  all....................            7            6
Arrowtooth flounder.................  BSAI...................  all....................           44           44
Kamchatka flounder..................  BSAI...................  all....................           30           30
Alaska plaice.......................  BSAI...................  all....................           14           14
Other flatfish......................  BSAI...................  all....................          148          148
Flathead sole.......................  BSAI...................  all....................        1,336        1,336
Pacific ocean perch.................  BS.....................  all....................           10           10
                                      Eastern AI.............  all....................          101          101
                                      Central AI.............  all....................            4            4
                                      Western AI.............  all....................           30           30
Northern rockfish...................  BSAI...................  all....................           28           28
Shortraker rockfish.................  BSAI...................  all....................            7            7
Rougheye rockfish...................  EBS/EAI................  all....................            4            4
                                      CAI/WAI................  all....................            4            4
Other rockfish......................  BS.....................  all....................           15           15
                                      AI.....................  all....................           11           11
Squids..............................  BSAI...................  all....................            8            8
Skates..............................  BSAI...................  all....................          112          112
Sharks..............................  BSAI...................  all....................            0            0
Octopuses...........................  BSAI...................  all....................            1            1
Sculpins............................  BSAI...................  all....................           35           35
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Maximum retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679.


[[Page 11158]]


   Table 16--Final 2011 and 2012 American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel Sideboard Directed Fishing Closures \1\
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                            2011         2012
               Species                          Area                  Gear types         sideboard    sideboard
                                                                                           limit        limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod.........................  BSAI...................  hook-and-line..........            0            0
                                      BSAI...................  pot....................           10           10
                                      BSAI...................  CV < 60 feet LOA.......            2            2
                                      BSAI...................  jig....................            0            0
Sablefish...........................  BS.....................  trawl..................          110          100
                                      AI.....................  trawl..................           26           24
Atka mackerel.......................  Eastern AI/BS..........  all....................          116          106
                                      Central AI.............  all....................            2            0
                                      Western AI.............  all....................            0            0
Greenland turbot....................  BS.....................  all....................          192          192
                                      AI.....................  all....................           27           25
Arrowtooth flounder.................  BSAI...................  all....................        1,519        1,519
Kamchatka flounder..................  BSAI...................  all....................        1,038        1,038
Alaska plaice.......................  BSAI...................  all....................          600          600
Other flatfish......................  BSAI...................  all....................          112          112
Flathead sole.......................  BSAI...................  all....................        1,874        1,874
Rock sole...........................  BSAI...................  all....................        2,588        2,588
Pacific ocean perch.................  BS.....................  all....................          485          485
                                      Eastern AI.............  all....................           39           39
                                      Central AI.............  all....................           11           11
                                      Western AI.............  all....................            0            0
Northern rockfish...................  BSAI...................  all....................           34           34
Shortraker rockfish.................  BSAI...................  all....................            1            1
Rougheye rockfish...................  BS/EAI.................  all....................            1            1
                                      CAI/WAI................  all....................            1            1
Other rockfish......................  BS.....................  all....................            2            2
                                      AI.....................  all....................            4            4
Squids..............................  BSAI...................  all....................          138          138
Skates..............................  BSAI...................  all....................          759          759
Sharks..............................  BSAI...................  all....................            2            2
Octopuses...........................  BSAI...................  all....................            7            7
Sculpins............................  BSAI...................  all....................          239          239
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Maximum retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679.

Response to Comments

    NMFS received 9 letters of comment, from 6 CDQ groups and three 
non-CDQ industry participants, which included 4 distinct comments, in 
response to the proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications. These 
comments are summarized and responded to below.
    Comment 1: The comment asserts that the pollock ABCs and TACs are 
too high, based on anecdotal observations.
    Response: The harvest specifications process is intended to foster 
conservation and management of marine resources. This process 
incorporates the best available scientific information from the most 
recent stock assessment and fisheries evaluation reports prepared by 
multi-disciplinary teams of scientists. Such reports contain the most 
recent scientific information on the condition of various groundfish 
stocks, as well as the condition of other ecosystem components and 
economic data about Alaska groundfish fisheries. This body of 
information allows the Council to make scientifically-based 
recommendations for annual catch limits that do not exceed, on a 
species by species basis, the OFLs and ABCs established for each BSAI 
target species managed under the FMP. NMFS believes that the 2011 and 
2012 are the correct pollock ABCs and TACs, based upon this process.
    Comment 2: NMFS should account for the bycatch of groundfish in 
fisheries such as the State managed salmon fisheries.
    Response: NMFS is actively engaged in a process to improve the 
catch accounting system to more accurately account for the bycatch of 
groundfish in other fisheries, including State managed fisheries. NMFS 
agrees with this comment. However, this is beyond the scope of this 
action.
    Comment 3: The 10,000 mt ICA for rock sole is largely based upon 
high levels of yellowfin sole harvest by the BSAI trawl limited access 
sector. For 2011 and 2012, the BSAI trawl limited access harvest is 
likely to be smaller, and a 5,000 mt for rock sole is more appropriate.
    Response: NMFS agrees with this comment, and NMFS adjusted the ICA 
of rock sole to 5,000 metric tons.
    Comment 4: Six CDQ groups commented that the new Kamchatka flounder 
fishery is too small to be a meaningful CDQ fishery and could inhibit 
the prosecution of other CDQ fisheries. Thus, Kamchatka flounder should 
not be a CDQ fishery at this time.
    Response: In the proposed 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications NMFS 
requested comments about whether Kamchatka flounder was a directed 
fishery of the BSAI under section 305(i)(1)(B)(ii)(II) of the MSA. If 
it were, NMFS would allocate 10.7 percent of the Kamchatka flounder TAC 
to the CDQ Program. NMFS specifically requested comments from the CDQ 
groups about the economic value of Kamchatka flounder and whether the 
CDQ groups intend to conduct directed fishing for Kamchatka flounder in 
the future. Based on the comments received, NMFS has determined that 
Kamchatka flounder is not a directed fishery of the BSAI under section 
305(i)(1)(B)(ii)(II).

[[Page 11159]]

Therefore, NMFS will not allocate Kamchatka flounder to the CDQ Program 
in the final 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications. However, NMFS will 
consider allocating Kamchatka flounder to the CDQ Program in the future 
if information is presented in future harvest specifications that the 
status of Kamchatka flounder as a directed fishery of the BSAI has 
changed.

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 Orders 12866 and 13563.
    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 (NEPA) 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 in association 
with this action. NMFS published a notice of the availability of the 
IRFA and its summary in the Classification section of the proposed 2006 
and 2007 harvest specifications for the groundfish fisheries in the 
BSAI in the Federal Register on December 15, 2006 (71 FR 75437). No 
comments were received regarding the IRFA or 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 prepared for this action 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 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 of the FMP, the 
established methodology produces ABCs and TACs within specified ranges 
and the numbers in this final rule's preferred alternatives 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.
    There are 244 directly regulated small entities including 
approximately 223 small CVs, 15 small C/Ps, and six CDQ groups. The 
entities directly regulated by this action harvest groundfish in the 
EEZ of the BSAI, 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 their 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 BSAI non-CDQ and CDQ 
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.
    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 BSAI 
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 
5-year average fishing rate. Alternative 4 would have set TACs to equal 
the lower limit of the BSAI 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 BSAI 
than Alternative 2. A large part of the Alternative 1 BSAI revenue 
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

[[Page 11160]]

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 octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates in the BSAI, 
consistent with the previously selected harvest strategy, the tier 
system used to set OFL (per the FMP), Amendments 95 and 96 to the FMP, 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law (see ADDRESSES). 
Amendments 95 and 96 to the FMP were published on October 6, 2010 (75 
FR 61639), and split the ``other species'' complex into its component 
species of octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates.
    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 76372) 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. 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 209 small groundfish entities operating in the BSAI, with 
average revenues from all sources of about $1.37 million. Most of these 
(191) are C/Vs. A majority of the C/Vs (107) used trawl gear and had 
average revenues of about $1.49 million. There were 38 hook-and-line C/
Vs, with average revenues of about $600,000, and 51 pot C/Vs with 
average revenues of $1.37 million. There were five C/Vs that used 
multiple gear types and are counted in at least two of the preceding 
figures. There were 18 C/Ps, mostly hook-and-line vessels, with average 
gross revenues of about $2.53 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 the proposed 
action. As described below, however, certain small entities may be more 
likely than others to be adversely affected by the proposed action as a 
result of potential impacts associated with the incidental catch of 
octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates in other target fisheries.
    This action does not modify recordkeeping or reporting 
requirements.
    NMFS considered several alternatives to the action to specify 
separate OFLs and TACS for BSAI octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates 
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 octopuses, sculpins, sharks, and skates species complexes will 
adversely affect small entities.
    NMFS considered dividing the TACs for each of the species complexes 
among different regulatory areas in the BSAI. Any such further division 
of the TACs would not change the total TACs for each species complex in 
the BSAI 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 exempting small entities from compliance with the 
TACs for each of the species complexes evaluated in the SIRFA. 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 BSAI, 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 
Amendments 95 and 96.
    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 
11778, March 12, 2010) were not 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, octopuses, sculpins, sharks, skates, and squids, 
are critical as directed fisheries and as incidental catch in other 
fisheries. U.S. fishing

[[Page 11161]]

vessels have demonstrated the capacity to catch the TAC allocations in 
these fisheries. Any delay in allocating the final TACs in these 
fisheries would cause confusion to the industry and potential economic 
harm through unnecessary discards. 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. Delayed 
effectiveness of this action would result in confusion for sablefish 
harvesters 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 11778, 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

    This final rule 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 BSAI. 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 BSAI 
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); 16 U.S.C. 
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 23, 2011.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-4538 Filed 2-28-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P