[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 36 (Thursday, February 23, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 10669-10690]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-4106]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 111213751-2102-02]
RIN 0648-XA758


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea 
and Aleutian Islands; Final 2012 and 2013 Harvest Specifications for 
Groundfish

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

ACTION: Final rule; closures.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: NMFS announces final 2012 and 2013 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 2012 
and 2013 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.), February 
23, 2012, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the Final Alaska Groundfish Harvest 
Specifications Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Record of Decision 
(ROD), Supplementary Information Report (SIR) to the EIS, and the Final 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA), prepared for this action are 
available from http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. The final 2011 Stock 
Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for the groundfish 
resources of the BSAI, dated November 2011 and SAFE reports for 
previous years, are 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, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal regulations at 50 CFR part 679 
implement the FMP and govern the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI. The 
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 TAC for all groundfish species 
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)). This final rule 
specifies the TAC at 2.0 million mt for both 2012 and 2013. 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.
    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 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications and 
PSC allowances for the groundfish fishery of the BSAI were published in 
the Federal Register on December 27, 2011 (76 FR 80782). Comments were 
invited and accepted through January 26, 2012. NMFS received 1 letter 
with 1 comment on the proposed harvest specifications. This comment is 
summarized and responded to in the ``Response to Comments'' section of 
this rule. NMFS consulted with the Council on the final 2012 and 2013 
harvest specifications during the December 2011 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 2012 and 2013 harvest 
specifications as recommended by the Council.

Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) and TAC Harvest Specifications

    The final ABC levels for Alaska groundfish 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

[[Page 10670]]

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 1 represents the highest level of information 
quality available while Tier 6 represents the lowest.
    In December 2011, 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 2011 
SAFE report for the BSAI groundfish fisheries, dated November 2011. 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. NMFS 
notified the public and asked for review of the SAFE report in the 
notice of proposed harvest specifications; the report is still 
available (see ADDRESSES). From these data and analyses, the Plan Team 
estimated an OFL and ABC for each species or species category.
    In December 2011, 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. As required by 
annual catch limit rules for all fisheries (74 FR 3178, January 16, 
2009), none of the Council's recommended TACs for 2012 or 2013 exceeds 
the final 2012 or 2013 ABCs for any species category. The final 2012 
and 2013 harvest specifications approved by the Secretary of Commerce 
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 2011 SAFE report that was approved by the Council.

Other Actions Potentially Affecting the 2012 and 2013 Harvest 
Specifications

    The Council is currently considering implementing management 
measures in the event that Pacific cod is split from a BSAI-wide 
fishery into separate OFLs, ABCs, and TACs for the Bering Sea subarea 
and the Aleutian Island subarea. This split depends on NMFS developing 
an age-structured model for the Aleutian Islands Pacific cod stock 
assessment that will be reviewed by the Plan Team and SSC in 2012 or 
2013. This split could impact the OFLs, ABCs, and TACs for Pacific cod 
on Table 1 for 2013.

Changes From the Proposed 2012 and 2013 Harvest Specifications for the 
BSAI

    In October 2011, the Council proposed its recommendations for the 
2012 and 2013 harvest specifications (76 FR 80782, December 27, 2011), 
based largely on information contained in the 2010 SAFE report for the 
BSAI groundfish fisheries. Through the proposed harvest specifications, 
NMFS notified the public that these harvest specifications could 
change, as the Council would consider information contained in the 2011 
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 FMP and its 
implementing regulations, the sum of the TACs must be within the OY 
range of 1.4 million and 2.0 million mt.
    Information contained in the 2011 SAFE reports indicates biomass 
changes for several groundfish species from the 2010 SAFE reports. At 
the December 2011 Council meeting, the SSC recommended the ABCs for 
many species in 2012 and 2013 based on the best and most recent 
information contained in the 2011 SAFE reports. This recommendation 
resulted in an ABC sum total for all BSAI groundfish species that 
exceeds 2 million mt for both 2012 and 2013. Based on the SSC ABC 
recommendations and the 2011 SAFE reports, the AP recommended raising 
the TACs for more economically valuable species that have increasing 
biomasses, such as Pacific cod and Greenland turbot. Conversely, the 
SSC reduced the OFL and ABC of Bering Sea pollock from the proposed OFL 
and ABC, and these reductions led to the largest decrease in TAC in 
terms of tonnage. In terms of percentage change from the proposed TACs, 
octopuses and sharks had the largest increases in TAC. This is due to 
model changes for the calculation of octopuses OFL and ABC, and 
recommendations by the AP and the Council of TACs that are more 
realistic of incidental harvest of these species in other fisheries. 
The Bogoslof pollock TAC also had a large percentage increase, because 
the SSC discontinued the target biomass of 2 million mt and adopted a 
traditional OFL and ABC estimate under the Tier 5 approach of the FMP. 
The Council recommended a TAC to account for incidental catch in other 
fisheries. However, under Sec.  679.22(a)(7)(i)(B), directed fishing 
for pollock in the Bogoslof area is prohibited, so changes in TAC will 
have little effect upon fisheries. 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 2012 and 2013 OFL, 
ABC, TAC, initial TAC (ITAC), and CDQ reserve amounts of the BSAI 
groundfish. NMFS concurs in these recommendations. The final 2012 and 
2013 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 2012 and 2013 With Proposed 2012 and 2013 Total Allowable Catch in the BSAI
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                               2012                                            2013
              Species                      Area \1\       2012 final TAC   2012 proposed    difference    2013 final TAC   2013 proposed    difference
                                                                                TAC        from proposed                        TAC        from proposed
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock............................  BS.................       1,200,000       1,253,658         -53,658       1,201,900       1,253,658         -51,758
                                     AI.................          19,000          19,000               0          19,000          19,000               0

[[Page 10671]]

 
                                     Bogoslof...........             500             150             350             500             150             350
Pacific cod........................  BSAI...............         261,000         229,608          31,392         262,900         229,608          33,292
Sablefish..........................  BS.................           2,230           2,610            -380           2,200           2,610            -410
                                     AI.................           2,050           1,740             310           2,020           1,740             280
Atka mackerel......................  EAI/BS.............          38,500          36,800           1,700          31,700          36,800          -5,100
                                     CAI................          10,763          10,293             470           8,883          10,293          -1,410
                                     WAI................           1,500           1,500               0           1,500           1,500               0
Yellowfin sole.....................  BSAI...............         202,000         197,660           4,340         203,900         197,660           6,240
Rock sole..........................  BSAI...............          87,000          85,000           2,000          87,000          85,000           2,000
Greenland turbot...................  BS.................           6,230           3,500           2,730           6,010           3,500           2,510
                                     AI.................           2,430           1,450             980           2,020           1,450             570
Arrowtooth flounder................  BSAI...............          25,000          25,900            -900          25,000          25,900            -900
Kamchatka flounder.................  BSAI...............          17,700          17,700               0          17,700          17,700               0
Flathead sole......................  BSAI...............          34,134          41,548          -7,414          34,134          41,548          -7,414
Other flatfish.....................  BSAI...............           3,200           3,000             200           3,200           3,000             200
Alaska plaice......................  BSAI...............          24,000          16,000           8,000          24,000          16,000           8,000
Pacific ocean perch................  BS.................           5,710           5,710               0           6,540           5,710             830
                                     EAI................           5,620           5,660             -40           6,440           5,660             780
                                     CAI................           4,990           4,960              30           5,710           4,960             750
                                     WAI................           8,380           8,370              10           9,610           8,370           1,240
Northern rockfish..................  BSAI...............           4,700           4,000             700           4,700           4,000             700
Shortraker rockfish................  BSAI...............             393             393               0             393             393               0
Rougheye rockfish..................  BS/EAI.............             231             240              -9             241             240               1
                                     CAI/WAI............             244             225              19             258             225              33
Other rockfish.....................  BS.................             500             500               0             500             500               0
                                     AI.................             570             500              70             570             500              70
Squids.............................  BSAI...............             425             425               0             425             425               0
Skates.............................  BSAI...............          24,700          16,500           8,200          24,746          16,500           8,246
Sharks.............................  BSAI...............             200              50             150             200              50             150
Octopuses..........................  BSAI...............             900             150             750             900             150             750
Sculpins...........................  BSAI...............           5,200           5,200               0           5,200           5,200               0
                                    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total..........................  BSAI...............       2,000,000       2,000,000               0       2,000,000       2,000,000               0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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).


 Table 1--Final 2012 and 2013 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]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     2012                                                        2013
                  Species                                Area            -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              OFL         ABC         TAC      ITAC \2\     CDQ \3\       OFL         ABC         TAC      ITAC \2\     CDQ \3\
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock \4\................................  BS.........................   2,474,000   1,220,000   1,200,000   1,080,000     120,000   2,840,000   1,360,000   1,201,900   1,081,710     120,190
                                             AI.........................      39,600      32,500      19,000      17,100       1,900      42,900      35,200      19,000      17,100       1,900
                                             Bogoslof...................      22,000      16,500         500         500           0      22,000      16,500         500         500           0
Pacific cod \5\............................  BSAI.......................     369,000     314,000     261,000     233,073      27,927     374,000     319,000     262,900     234,770      28,130
Sablefish..................................  BS.........................       2,640       2,230       2,230       1,840         307       2,610       2,200       2,200         935          83
                                             AI.........................       2,430       2,050       2,050       1,666         346       2,400       2,020       2,020         429          38
Atka mackerel..............................  BSAI.......................      96,500      81,400      50,763      45,331       5,432      78,300      67,100      42,083      37,580       4,503
                                             EAI/BS.....................         n/a      38,500      38,500      34,381       4,120         n/a      31,700      31,700      28,308       3,392
                                             CAI........................         n/a      22,900      10,763       9,611       1,152         n/a      18,900       8,883       7,933         950
                                             WAI........................         n/a      20,000       1,500       1,340         161         n/a      16,500       1,500       1,340         161
Yellowfin sole.............................  BSAI.......................     222,000     203,000     202,000     180,386      21,614     226,000     207,000     203,900     182,083      21,817
Rock sole..................................  BSAI.......................     231,000     208,000      87,000      77,691       9,309     217,000     196,000      87,000      77,691       9,309
Greenland turbot...........................  BSAI.......................      11,700       9,660       8,660       7,361         n/a       9,700       8,030       8,030       6,826         n/a
                                             BS.........................         n/a       7,230       6,230       5,296         667         n/a       6,010       6,010       5,109         643
                                             AI.........................         n/a       2,430       2,430       2,066           0         n/a       2,020       2,020       1,717           0
Arrowtooth flounder........................  BSAI.......................     181,000     150,000      25,000      21,250       2,675     186,000     152,000      25,000      21,250       2,675
Kamchatka flounder.........................  BSAI.......................      24,800      18,600      17,700      15,045           0      24,800      18,600      17,700      15,045           0
Flathead sole..............................  BSAI.......................      84,500      70,400      34,134      30,482       3,652      83,100      69,200      34,134      30,482       3,652
Other flatfish \6\.........................  BSAI.......................      17,100      12,700       3,200       2,720           0      17,100      12,700       3,200       2,720           0
Alaska plaice..............................  BSAI.......................      64,600      53,400      24,000      20,400           0      65,000      54,000      24,000      20,400           0
Pacific ocean perch........................  BSAI.......................      35,000      24,700      24,700      21,812         n/a      33,700      28,300      28,300      24,991         n/a

[[Page 10672]]

 
                                             BS.........................         n/a       5,710       5,710       4,854           0         n/a       6,540       6,540       5,559           0
                                             EAI........................         n/a       5,620       5,620       5,019         601         n/a       6,440       6,440       5,751         689
                                             CAI........................         n/a       4,990       4,990       4,456         534         n/a       5,710       5,710       5,099         611
                                             WAI........................         n/a       8,380       8,380       7,483         897         n/a       9,610       9,610       8,582       1,028
Northern rockfish..........................  BSAI.......................      10,500       8,610       4,700       3,995           0      10,400       8,490       4,700       3,995           0
Shortraker rockfish........................  BSAI.......................         524         393         393         334           0         524         393         393         334           0
Rougheye rockfish..........................  BSAI.......................         576         475         475         404           0         605         499         499         424           0
                                             EBS/EAI....................         n/a         231         231         196           0         n/a         241         241         205           0
                                             CAI/WAI....................         n/a         244         244         207           0         n/a         258         258         219           0
Other rockfish \7\.........................  BSAI.......................       1,700       1,280       1,070         910           0       1,700       1,280       1,070         910           0
                                             BS.........................         n/a         710         500         425           0         n/a         710         500         425           0
                                             AI.........................         n/a         570         570         485           0         n/a         570         570         485           0
Squids.....................................  BSAI.......................       2,620       1,970         425         361           0       2,620       1,970         425         361           0
Skates.....................................  BSAI.......................      39,100      32,600      24,700      20,995           0      38,300      32,000      24,746      21,034           0
Sharks.....................................  BSAI.......................       1,360       1,020         200         170           0       1,360       1,020         200         170           0
Octopuses..................................  BSAI.......................       3,450       2,590         900         765           0       3,450       2,590         900         765           0
Sculpins...................................  BSAI.......................      58,300      43,700       5,200       4,420           0      58,300      43,700       5,200       4,420           0
                                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total..................................  ...........................   3,996,000   2,511,778   2,000,000   1,789,010     195,860   4,341,869   2,639,792   2,000,000   1,786,924     195,269
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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. For pollock and Amendment 80 species, ITAC is the non-CDQ allocation of TAC (see footnotes 3 and 5).
\3\ For the Amendment 80 species (Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Pacific cod, and Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch), 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,''
  squid, sculpins, sharks, skates, and octopuses are not allocated to the CDQ program.
\4\ Under Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1), the annual BS subarea pollock TAC after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second for the incidental catch
  allowance (4.0 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.
\5\ The Pacific cod TAC is reduced by 3 percent from the ABC to account for the State of Alaska's (State) guideline harvest level in State waters of the Aleutian Islands subarea.
\6\ ``Other flatfish'' includes all flatfish species, except for halibut (a prohibited species), flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, arrowtooth flounder, Kamchatka
  flounder, and Alaska plaice.
\7\ ``Other rockfish'' includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern, dark, shortraker, and rougheye rockfish.
Note: Regulatory areas and districts are defined at Sec.   679.2 (BS = Bering Sea subarea, AI = Aleutian Islands subarea, EAI = Eastern Aleutian Islands district, CAI = Central Aleutian
  Islands district, WAI = Western Aleutian Islands district).

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 NMFS to reserve 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 
set aside for the fixed gear sablefish CDQ reserve. Section 
679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D) requires NMFS to allocate 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. Under section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C), NMFS must allocate 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 
that 10 percent of the BSAI pollock TACs be allocated 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 subtracting 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 2011. 
During this 13-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 13-
year average of 3.2 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 subtracting 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 2011. During this 
9-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 a 9-year average 
of 7 percent.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8) and (10), NMFS allocates ICAs of 
5,000 mt of flathead sole, 10,000 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, 100 mt of CAI Atka mackerel,

[[Page 10673]]

and 1,000 mt of EAI and BS subarea Atka mackerel TAC after subtracting 
the 10.7 percent CDQ reserve. These ICA allowances are based on NMFS' 
examination of the incidental catch in other target fisheries from 2003 
through 2011.
    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, Bering Sea ``other rockfish,'' skates, 
sharks, octopuses, and sculpins by 15 percent of the TAC in 2012 and 
2013.

                                        Table 2--Final 2012 and 2013 Apportionment of Reserves to ITAC Categories
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                           2012 reserve     2012 final                     2013 reserve     2013 final
                 Species-area or subarea                     2012 ITAC        amount           ITAC          2013 ITAC        amount           ITAC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shortraker rockfish--BSAI...............................             334              59             393             334              59             393
Rougheye rockfish--EBS/EAI..............................             196              35             231             205              36             241
Rougheye rockfish--CAI/WAI..............................             207              37             244             219              39             258
Northern rockfish--BSAI.................................           3,995             705           4,700           3,995             705           4,700
Other rockfish--Bering Sea subarea......................             425              75             500             425              75             500
Skates--BSAI............................................          20,995           3,705          24,700          21,034           3,712          24,746
Sharks--BSAI............................................             170              30             200             170              30             200
Octopuses--BSAI.........................................             765             135             900             765             135             900
Sculpins--BSAI..........................................           4,420             780           5,200           4,420             780           5,200
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...............................................          31,508           5,560          37,068          31,567           5,571          37,138
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

    Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A) requires that the BS subarea pollock TAC 
be apportioned, after subtracting the 10 percent for the CDQ program 
and the 3 percent for the ICA, 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 2012 and 2013 amounts.
    Section 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4) also includes several specific 
requirements regarding BS subarea pollock allocations. First, it 
requires that 8.5 percent of the pollock allocated to the C/P sector be 
available for harvest by AFA catcher vessels (CVs) with C/P sector 
endorsements, unless the Regional Administrator receives a cooperative 
contract that allows 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 2012 and 2013 
allocations of pollock TAC. Tables 11 through 16 list the AFA C/P and 
CV harvesting sideboard limits. The tables 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.  
679.20(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 2012 and 2013 amounts by 
sector.

     Table 3--Final 2012 and 2013 Allocations of Pollock TACS to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ Directed Fishing Allowances (DFA) \1\
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        2012 A season \1\      2012 B                    2013 A season \1\      2013 B
                                                                    ------------------------ season \1\              ------------------------ season \1\
                    Area and sector                         2012                     SCA    ------------     2013                     SCA    -----------
                                                        Allocations   A season     harvest    B season   Allocations   A season     harvest    B season
                                                                         DFA      limit \2\      DFA                      DFA      limit \2\      DFA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea subarea....................................    1,200,000         n/a         n/a         n/a    1,201,900         n/a         n/a         n/a
CDQ DFA...............................................      120,000      48,000      33,600      72,000      120,190      48,076      33,653      72,114
ICA \1\...............................................       32,400         n/a         n/a         n/a       32,451         n/a         n/a         n/a
AFA Inshore...........................................      523,800     209,520     146,664     314,280      524,629     209,852     146,896     314,778

[[Page 10674]]

 
AFA Catcher/Processors \3\............................      419,040     167,616     117,331     251,424      419,703     167,881     117,517     251,822
Catch by C/Ps.........................................      383,422     153,369         n/a     230,053      384,029     153,611         n/a     230,417
Catch by CVs \3\......................................       35,618      14,247         n/a      21,371       35,675      14,270         n/a      21,405
Unlisted C/P Limit \4\................................        2,095         838         n/a       1,257        2,099         839         n/a       1,259
AFA Motherships.......................................      104,760      41,904      29,333      62,856      104,926      41,970      29,379      62,956
Excessive Harvesting Limit \5\........................      183,330         n/a         n/a         n/a      183,620         n/a         n/a         n/a
Excessive Processing Limit \6\........................      314,280         n/a         n/a         n/a      314,778         n/a         n/a         n/a
Total Bering Sea DFA..................................    1,047,600     419,040     293,328     628,560    1,049,259     419,703     293,792     629,555
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 subtracting 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 catcher/processors shall be available for harvest
  only by eligible catcher vessels delivering to listed catcher/processors.
\4\ Pursuant to Sec.   679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the
  catcher/processors 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 subtracting 
the CDQ reserves, jig gear allocation, and ICAs for the BSAI trawl 
limited access sector and non-trawl gear sector (Table 4). The process 
for allocating 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 the jig 
gear sector. 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 sector in 2012 and 2013. This percentage is 
applied to the Atka mackerel TAC after subtracting the CDQ reserve and 
the ICA.
    Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(3) limits the annual Atka mackerel TAC 
for Area 542 (the CAI) to no more than 47 percent of the Area 542 ABC. 
Section 679.7(a)(19) prohibits retention of Atka mackerel in Area 543 
(the WAI), and the amount set here accounts for discards in other 
fisheries.
    Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) apportions the Atka mackerel ITAC into 
two equal seasonal allowances. Section 679.23(e)(3) sets the first 
seasonal allowance for directed fishing with trawl gear from January 20 
through June 10 (A season), and the second seasonal allowance from June 
10 through November 1 (B season). Section 679.23(e)(4)(iii) 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) 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 2012 and 2013 Atka mackerel season and area 
allowances, as well as the sector allocations. The 2013 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, 2012.

[[Page 10675]]



 Table 4--Final 2012 and 2013 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]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      2012 allocation by area                         2013 allocation by area
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Eastern                                         Eastern
            Sector \1\                  Season 2 3 4         Aleutian       Central \5\       Western        Aleutian       Central \5\       Western
                                                             District/       Aleutian        Aleutian        District/       Aleutian        Aleutian
                                                            Bering Sea       District        District       Bering Sea       District        District
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC..............................  n/a..................          38,500          10,763           1,500          31,700           8,883           1,500
CDQ reserve......................  Total................           4,120           1,152             161           3,392             950             161
                                   A....................           2,060             576              80           1,696             475              80
                                   Critical Habitat \5\.             n/a              58             n/a             n/a              48             n/a
                                   B....................           2,060             576              80           1,696             475              80
                                   Critical Habitat \5\.             n/a              58             n/a             n/a              48             n/a
ICA..............................  Total................           1,000             100              40           1,000             100              40
Jig \6\..........................  Total................             167               0               0             137               0               0
BSAI trawl limited access........  Total................           3,321             951               0           2,717             783               0
                                   A....................           1,661             476               0           1,359             392               0
                                   B....................           1,661             476               0           1,359             392               0
Amendment 80 sectors.............  Total................          29,892           8,560           1,300          24,454           7,049           1,300
                                   A....................          14,946           4,280             650          12,227           3,525             650
                                   B....................          14,946           4,280             650          12,227           3,525             650
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative....  Total................          17,432           5,020             759             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                   A....................           8,716           2,510             380             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                   Critical Habitat \5\.             n/a             251             n/a             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                   B....................           8,716           2,510             380             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                   Critical Habitat \5\.             n/a             251             n/a             n/a             n/a             n/a
Alaska Seafood Cooperative.......  Total................          12,461           3,540             541             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                   A....................           6,231           1,770             271             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                   Critical Habitat \5\.             n/a             177             n/a             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                   B....................           6,231           1,770             271             n/a             n/a             n/a
                                   Critical Habitat \5\.             n/a             177             n/a             n/a             n/a             n/a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtractng 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\ Regulations at Sec.  Sec.   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
  subtracting 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) requires NMFS to allocate the 
Pacific cod TAC in the BSAI, after subtracting 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 2012 and 2013, the 
Regional Administrator establishes an ICA of 500 mt based on 
anticipated incidental catch by these sectors in other fisheries. The 
ITAC allocation of Pacific cod to the Amendment 80 sector is 
established in Table 33 to part 679 and Sec.  679.91. The 2013 
allocations for Pacific cod between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the 
Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until November 1, 
2012, the date by which the applicants eligible to apply for 
participation in the Amendment 80 program must file their application. 
Amendment 80 applications for 2013 have not yet been submitted to NMFS, 
thereby preventing NMFS from calculating 2013 allocations. NMFS will 
post 2013 Amendment 80 allocations when they become available in 
December 2012.

[[Page 10676]]

    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 2012 and 
2013 Pacific cod TACs are listed in Tables 5a and 5b, and are 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).
    Section 679.7(a)(19) prohibits retaining 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 2012 Gear Shares and Seasonal Allowances of the BSAI Pacific Cod TAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Share of                         Seasonal apportionment
                                                     gear        Share of    -----------------------------------
             Gear sector                Percent     sector     sector total
                                                     total                             Dates             Amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total TAC............................        100     261,000             n/a  n/a....................        n/a
CDQ..................................       10.7      27,927             n/a  See Sec.                       n/a
                                                                               679.20(a)(7)(i)(B).
Total hook-and-line/pot gear.........       60.8     141,708             n/a  n/a....................        n/a
Hook-and-line/pot ICA\1\.............        n/a         500             n/a  See 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(B)        n/a
Hook-and-line/pot sub-total..........        n/a     141,208             n/a  n/a....................        n/a
Hook-and-line catcher/processor......       48.7         n/a         113,106  Jan 1-Jun 10...........     57,684
                                                                              Jun 10-Dec 31..........     55,422
Hook-and-line catcher vessel >=60 ft         0.2         n/a             465  Jan 1-Jun 10...........        237
 LOA.                                                                         Jun 10-Dec 31..........        228
Pot catcher/processor................        1.5         n/a           3,484  Jan 1-Jun 10...........      1,777
                                                                              Sept 1-Dec 31..........      1,707
Pot catcher vessel >=60 ft LOA.......        8.4         n/a          19,509  Jan 1-Jun 10...........      9,950
                                                                              Sept 1-Dec 31..........      9,559
Catcher vessel <60 ft LOA using hook-          2         n/a           4,645  n/a....................        n/a
 and-line or pot gear.
Trawl catcher vessel.................       22.1      51,509             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1...........     38,117
                                                                              Apr 1-Jun 10...........      5,666
                                                                              Jun 10-Nov 1...........      7,726
AFA trawl catcher/processor..........        2.3       5,361             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1...........      4,021
                                                                              Apr 1- Jun 10..........      1,340
                                                                              Jun 10-Nov 1...........          0
Amendment 80.........................       13.4      31,232             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1...........     23,424
                                                                              Apr 1- Jun 10..........      7,808
                                                                              Jun 10-Nov 1...........          0
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative........        n/a         n/a           5,816  Jan 20-Apr 1...........      4,362
                                                                              Apr 1- Jun 10..........      1,454
                                                                              Jun 10-Nov 1...........          0
Alaska Seafood Cooperative...........        n/a         n/a          25,416  Jan 20-Apr 1...........     19,062
                                                                              Apr 1- Jun 10..........      6,354
                                                                              Jun 10-Nov 1...........          0
Jig..................................        1.4       3,263             n/a  Jan 1-Apr 30...........      1,958
                                                                              Apr 30-Aug 31..........        653
                                                                              Aug 31-Dec 31..........        653
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 2013 Gear Shares and Seasonal Allowances of the BSAI Pacific Cod TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Share of                       Seasonal apportionment \2\
                                                     gear        Share of    -----------------------------------
             Gear sector                Percent     sector     sector total
                                                     total                             Dates             Amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total TAC............................        100     262,900             n/a  n/a....................        n/a
CDQ..................................       10.7      28,130             n/a  See Sec.                       n/a
                                                                               679.20(a)(7)(i)(B).
Total hook-and-line/pot gear.........       60.8     142,740             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     142,240             n/a  n/a....................        n/a
Hook-and-line catcher/processor......       48.7         n/a         113,932  Jan 1-Jun 10...........     58,105
                                                                              Jun 10-Dec 31..........     55,827
Hook-and-line catcher vessel >=60 ft         0.2         n/a             468  Jan 1-Jun 10...........        239
 LOA.                                                                         Jun 10-Dec 31..........        229
Pot catcher/processor................        1.5         n/a           3,509  Jan 1-Jun 10...........      1,790
                                                                              Sept 1-Dec 31..........      1,720
Pot catcher vessel >=60 ft LOA.......        8.4         n/a          19,652  Jan 1-Jun 10...........     10,022
                                                                              Sept 1-Dec 31..........      9,629
Catcher vessel <60 ft LOA using hook-          2         n/a           4,679  n/a....................        n/a
 and-line or pot gear.

[[Page 10677]]

 
Trawl catcher vessel.................       22.1      51,884             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1...........     38,394
                                                                              Apr 1-Jun 10...........      5,707
                                                                              Jun 10-Nov 1...........      7,783
AFA trawl catcher/processor..........        2.3       5,400             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1...........      4,050
                                                                              Apr 1-Jun 10...........      1,350
                                                                              Jun 10-Nov 1...........          0
Amendment 80.........................       13.4      31,459             n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1...........     23,594
                                                                              Apr 1-Jun 10...........      7,865
                                                                              Jun 10-Nov 1...........          0
Amendment 80 limited access\2\.......        n/a         n/a  See footnote 2  Jan 20-Apr 1...........        75%
                                                                              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       3,287             n/a  Jan 1-Apr 30...........      1,972
                                                                              Apr 30-Aug 31..........        657
                                                                              Aug 31-Dec 31..........        657
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 2013 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited
  access sector will not be known November 1, 2012, 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 that sablefish TACs for 
the BS and AI subareas be allocated between trawl and hook-and-line or 
pot gear sectors. Of the TAC for the BS subarea, 50 percent is 
allocated to vessels using trawl gear, and 50 percent to hook-and-line 
or pot gear vessels. TACs for the AI subarea are divided 25 percent to 
the trawl gear vessels, and 75 percent to hook-and-line or pot gear 
sector. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires NMFS to allot 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 that 7.5 
percent of the trawl gear allocation of sablefish from the nonspecified 
reserves, established under Sec.  679.20(b)(1)(i), be assigned to the 
CDQ reserve. The Council recommended that only trawl sablefish TAC be 
established biennially, because the harvest specifications for the 
hook-and-line gear and pot gear sablefish Individual Fishing Quota 
(IFQ) fisheries will be limited to the 2012 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 2012 and 2013 gear 
allocations of the sablefish TAC and CDQ reserve amounts.

                                     Table 6--Final 2012 and 2013 Gear Shares and CDQ Reserve of BSAI Sablefish TACS
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Percent of   2012 Share                 2012 CDQ    2013 Share                 2013 CDQ
                       Subarea and gear                            TAC         of TAC     2012 ITAC     reserve       of TAC     2013 ITAC     reserve
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea
    Trawl \1\................................................           50        1,115          948           84        1,100          935           83
    Hook-and-line/pot gear \2\...............................           50        1,115          892          223          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total................................................          100        2,230        1,840          307        1,100          935           83
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aleutian Islands
    Trawl \1\................................................           25          513          436           38          505          429           38
    Hook-and-line/pot gear \2\...............................           75        1,537        1,230          307          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total................................................          100        2,050        1,666          346          505          429           38
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 subtracting 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.
Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


[[Page 10678]]

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 that NMFS allocate AI 
Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin 
sole TACs between the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access 
sector, after subtracting 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 2013 allocations for Amendment 80 species between 
Amendment 80 cooperatives and limited access sector will not be known 
until November 1, 2012, the date by which the applicants eligible to 
apply for participation in the Amendment 80 program must file their 
application. Amendment 80 applications for 2013 have not yet been 
submitted to NMFS, thereby preventing NMFS from calculating 2013 
allocations. NMFS will publish 2013 Amendment 80 allocations when they 
become available in December 2012. Table 7a and 7b lists the 2012 and 
2013 allocations of the AI Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI flathead sole, 
rock sole, and yellowfin sole TACs.

 Table 7a--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...............................................            5,620            4,990            8,380           34,134           87,000          202,000
CDQ...............................................              601              534              897            3,652            9,309           21,614
ICA...............................................              100               75               10            5,000           10,000            2,000
BSAI trawl limited access.........................              492              438              149                0                0           36,297
Amendment 80......................................            4,427            3,943            7,324           25,482           67,691          142,089
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative.....................            2,347            2,091            3,883            4,976           19,000           60,313
Alaska Seafood Cooperative........................            2,080            1,852            3,440           20,506           48,691           81,776
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


 Table 7b--Final 2013 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...............................................            6,440            5,710            9,610           34,134           87,000          203,900
CDQ...............................................              689              611            1,028            3,652            9,309           21,817
ICA...............................................              100               75               10            5,000           10,000            2,000
BSAI trawl limited access.........................              565              502              171                0                0           36,975
Amendment 80\1\...................................            5,086            4,522            8,400           25,482           67,691          143,107
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2013 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until
  November 1, 2012, 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 2012 and 2013 BSAI halibut mortality 
limits are 3,675 mt for trawl fisheries and 900 mt for the non-trawl 
fisheries. Under sections 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(2) and (e)(4)(i)(A), NMFS 
allocates 326 mt of the trawl halibut mortality limit and 7.5 percent, 
or 67 mt, of the non-trawl halibut mortality limit as the PSQ reserve 
for use by the groundfish CDQ program.
    Section 679.21(e)(4)(i) authorizes NMFS to apportion 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 consulting 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 
2011, total groundfish catch for the pot gear fishery in the BSAI was 
approximately 29,508 mt, with an associated halibut bycatch mortality 
of about 6 mt.
    The 2011 jig gear fishery harvested about 505 mt of groundfish. 
Most

[[Page 10679]]

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 the jig gear sector will 
have 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.
    Section 679.21(f)(2) requires NMFS 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 2012, 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, 2012 allocations and reports at: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/bycatch/default.htm.
    Section 679.21(e)(1)(viii) specifies 700 fish as the 2012 and 2013 
Chinook salmon PSC limit for the AI subarea pollock fishery. Pursuant 
to section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(3)(i), NMFS allocates 7.5 percent, or 53 
Chinook salmon, to 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 2012 and 
2013 non-Chinook salmon PSC limit. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(3)(ii) 
requires NMFS to allocate 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 2011 survey data, the red king crab mature female 
abundance is estimated at 27.6 million red king crabs, and the 
effective spawning biomass is estimated at 43.1 million lb. Based on 
the criteria set out at Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(i), the 2012 and 2013 PSC 
limit of red king crab in Zone 1 for trawl gear is 97,000 animals. This 
limit derives from the mature female abundance of more than 8.4 million 
king crab and the effective spawning biomass estimate of less 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 require NMFS to set 
the RKCSS red king crab bycatch limit 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 2011, 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 with the Council's recommendation.
    Based on 2011 survey data, Tanner crab (Chionoecetes bairdi) 
abundance is estimated at 670 million animals. Pursuant to criteria set 
out at Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(ii), NMFS calculates 2012 and 2013 C. bairdi 
crab PSC limit for trawl gear is 980,000 animals in Zone 1 and 
2,970,000 animals in Zone 2. These limits are derived from the C. 
bairdi crab abundance estimate being in excess of the 400 million 
animals for both the Zone 1 and Zone 2 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 crabs. Based on the 
2011 survey estimate of 6.337 billion animals, the calculated C. opilio 
crab PSC limit is 7,029,520 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 
2012 and 2013 herring biomass is 209,419 mt. This amount was derived 
using 2011 survey data and an age-structured biomass projection model 
developed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Therefore, the 
herring PSC limit for 2012 and 2013 is 2,094 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, as listed in Table 8e. PSC 
cooperative quota assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives is not 
allocated to specific fishery categories. In 2012, there are no vessels 
in the Amendment 80 limited access sector. NMFS will not know the 2013 
PSC allocations between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 
limited access sector until November 1, 2012, the date by which the 
applicants eligible to apply to participate in the Amendment 80 program 
must file their application. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(B) requires NMFS 
to apportion 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 consulting 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 Tables 8c and 8d to maximize harvest 
among gear types, fisheries, and seasons while minimizing bycatch of 
PSC based on the above criteria.

[[Page 10680]]



 Table 8a--Final 2012 and 2013 Apportionment of Prohibited Species Catch Allowances to Non-Trawl Gear, The CDQ Program, Amendment 80, and the BSAI Trawl
                                                                 Limited Access Sectors
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        Non-trawl
                                                                           PSC                      Trawl PSC                                BSAI trawl
                      PSC species                        Total non-     remaining    Total trawl    remaining      CDQ PSQ    Amendment 80     limited
                                                          trawl PSC     after CDQ        PSC        after CDQ    reserve \1\   sector \2\      access
                                                                         PSQ \1\                     PSQ \1\                                   fishery
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI...........................           900           832         3,675         3,349           393         2,325           875
Herring (mt) BSAI.....................................           n/a           n/a         2,094           n/a           n/a           n/a           n/a
Red king crab (animals) Zone 1 \1\....................           n/a           n/a        97,000        86,621        10,379        43,293        26,489
C. opilio (animals) COBLZ \2\.........................           n/a           n/a     7,029,520     6,277,361       752,159     3,085,323     2,017,544
C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 1 \2\...................           n/a           n/a       980,000       875,140       104,860       368,521       411,228
C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 2.......................           n/a           n/a     2,970,000     2,652,210       317,790       627,778     1,241,500
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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\ The Amendment 80 program reduced apportionment of the trawl PSC limits by 150 mt for halibut mortality and 20 percent for crab. These reductions are
  not apportioned to other gear types or sectors.
Note: Refer to Sec.   679.2 for definitions of zones.
Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


 Table 8b--Final 2012 and 2013 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........................              179              n/a
Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish               31              n/a
 \1\..................................
Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish \2\.......               15              n/a
Rockfish..............................               11              n/a
Pacific cod...........................               31              n/a
Midwater trawl pollock................            1,600              n/a
Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species 3               227              n/a
 4....................................
Red king crab savings subarea non-                  n/a           24,250
 pelagic trawl gear \5\...............
                                       ---------------------------------
    Total trawl PSC...................            2,094           97,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 sculpins, sharks,
  skates, and octopuses.
\5\ In December 2011 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)).
Note: Species apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


                      Table 8c--Final 2012 and 2013 Prohibited Species Bycatch Allowances for the BSAI Trawl Limited Access Sector
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                               Prohibited species and area \1\
                                                                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                BSAI trawl limited access fisheries                      Halibut       Red king crab                           C. bairdi (animals)
                                                                      mortality (mt)   (animals) Zone     C. opilio    ---------------------------------
                                                                           BSAI              1         (animals) COBLZ       Zone 1           Zone 2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yellowfin sole.....................................................              167           23,338        1,901,193          346,228        1,185,500
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            3,232                0            1,000
Pacific cod........................................................              453            2,954           80,799           60,000           50,000
Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species \4\............................              250              197           32,320            5,000            5,000
                                                                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total BSAI trawl limited access PSC............................              875           26,489        2,017,544          411,228        1,241,500
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 sculpins, sharks, skates, and octopuses.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


[[Page 10681]]


 Table 8d--Final 2012 and 2013 Prohibited Species Bycatch Allowances for
                           Non-Trawl Fisheries
------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Non-trawl fisheries        Catcher/processor      Catcher 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
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to
  rounding.


                            Table 8e--Final 2012 Prohibited Species Bycatch Allowance for the BSAI Amendment 80 Cooperatives
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                               Prohibited species and zones \1\
                                                                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Cooperative                                  Halibut       Red king crab                           C. bairdi (animals)
                                                                      mortality (mt)   (animals) Zone     C. opilio    ---------------------------------
                                                                           BSAI              1         (animals) COBLZ       Zone 1           Zone 2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska Seafood Cooperative.........................................            1,609           29,484        1,991,961          259,427          433,149
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative......................................              716           13,809        1,093,362          109,094          194,629
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 
International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) and the Council for the 
2012 and 2013 BSAI groundfish fisheries for use in monitoring the 2012 
and 2013 halibut bycatch allowances (see Tables 8a-8e). The IPHC 
developed these DMRs for the 2010 and 2011 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 2009 SAFE report dated November 
2009 (see ADDRESSES). Table 9 lists the 2012 and 2013 DMRs.

Table 9--Final 2012 and 2013 Pacific Halibut Discard Mortality Rates for
                                the BSAI
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Halibut discard
             Gear                      Fishery           mortality rate
                                                           (percent)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Non-CDQ hook-and-line.........  Greenland turbot.....                 11
                                Other species \1\....                 10
                                Pacific cod..........                 10
                                Rockfish.............                  9
Non-CDQ trawl.................  Arrowtooth flounder                   76
                                 \2\.
                                Atka mackerel........                 76
                                Flathead sole........                 74
                                Greenland turbot.....                 67
                                Non-pelagic pollock..                 73
                                Pelagic pollock......                 89
                                Other flatfish \3\...                 72
                                Other species \1\....                 71
                                Pacific cod..........                 71
                                Rockfish.............                 81
                                Rock sole............                 82
                                Sablefish............                 75
                                Yellowfin sole.......                 81
Non-CDQ Pot...................  Other species \1\....                  8
                                Pacific cod..........                  8
CDQ trawl.....................  Atka mackerel........                 85
                                Greenland turbot.....                 88
                                Flathead sole........                 84
                                Non-pelagic pollock..                 85
                                Pacific cod..........                 90
                                Pelagic pollock......                 90

[[Page 10682]]

 
                                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\ ``Other species'' includes sculpins, sharks, skates, and octopuses.
\2\ Arrowtooth flounder includes Kamchatka flounder.
\3\ ``Other flatfish'' includes all flatfish species, except for halibut
  (a prohibited species), flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole,
  yellowfin sole, Kamchatka flounder, and arrowtooth flounder.

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 2012 and 2013 
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., February 23, 2012, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2013. 
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., February 23, 2012, through 2400 hrs, 
A.l.t., December 31, 2013.

                              Table 10--2012 and 2013 Directed Fishing Closures \1\
           [Groundfish and halibut amounts are in metric tons. Crab amounts are in number of animals]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                            2012         2013
                                                                                         incidental   incidental
                Area                           Sector                  Species             catch        catch
                                                                                         allowance    allowance
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bogoslof District...................  All....................  Pollock................          500          500
Aleutian Islands subarea............  All....................  ICA pollock............        1,600        1,600
                                                               ``Other rockfish'' \2\.          570          570
Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea  Non-amendment 80 and     ICA Atka mackerel......        1,000        1,000
                                       BSAI trawl limited
                                       access.
Eastern Aleutian District/Bering Sea  All....................  Rougheye rockfish......          231          241
Eastern Aleutian District...........  Non-amendment 80 and     ICA Pacific ocean perch          100          100
                                       BSAI trawl limited
                                       access.
Central Aleutian District...........  Non-amendment 80 and     ICA Atka mackerel......          100          100
                                       BSAI trawl limited
                                       access.
                                                               ICA Pacific ocean perch           75           75
Western Aleutian District...........  Non-amendment 80 and     ICA Atka mackerel......           40           40
                                       BSAI trawl limited
                                       access.
                                                               ICA Pacific ocean perch           10           10
Central and Western Aleutian          All....................  Rougheye rockfish......          244          258
 Districts.
Bering Sea subarea..................  All....................  Pacific ocean perch....        4,854        5,559
                                                               ``Other rockfish'' \2\.          500          500
                                                               ICA pollock............       32,400       32,451
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.....  All....................  Northern rockfish......        4,700        4,700
                                                               Shortraker rockfish....          393          393
                                                               Squids.................          361          361
                                                               Skates.................       24,700       24,746
                                                               Sharks.................          200          200
                                                               Octopuses..............          900          900
                                                               Sculpins...............        5,200        5,200
                                      Hook-and-line and pot    ICA Pacific cod........          500          500
                                       gear.
                                      Non-amendment 80.......  ICA flathead sole......        5,000        5,000

[[Page 10683]]

 
                                                               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 sole/           0            0
                                       access.                  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 crab            0            0
                                                                Zone 1.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Maximum retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679.
\2\ ``Other rockfish'' includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern
  rockfish, dark rockfish, shortraker rockfish, and rougheye rockfish.

    Closures implemented under the 2011 and 2012 BSAI harvest 
specifications for groundfish (76 FR 11139, March 1, 2011) remain 
effective under authority of these final 2012 and 2013 harvest 
specifications, and are posted at the following Web sites: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/index/infobulletins/infobulletins.asp?Yr=2012 
and http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/2012/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.

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. These restrictions are set out as ``sideboard'' limits 
on catch. 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 2012 and 2013 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 2012 and 2013 sideboard limits for the listed AFA C/Ps.
    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 2012 and 2013 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 2012 or 2013 
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 11--Final 2012 and 2013 Listed BSAI American Fisheries Act Catcher/Processor Groundfish Sideboard Limits
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             1995-1997
                                                              ---------------------------------------  2012 ITAC                 2013 ITAC
                                                                                           Ratio of    available   2012 AFA C/   available   2013 AFA C/
           Target species                   Area/season          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          948           15          935           15
                                      AI.....................            0          145            0          436            0          429            0
Atka mackerel.......................  Central AI A season \2\          n/a          n/a        0.115        4,806          553        3,966          456
                                      Central AI B season \2\          n/a          n/a        0.115        4,806          553        3,966          456
                                      Western AI A season \2\          n/a          n/a          0.2          670          134          670          134
                                      Western AI B season \2\          n/a          n/a          0.2          670          134          670          134
Rock sole...........................  BSAI...................        6,317      169,362        0.037       77,691        2,875       77,691        2,875

[[Page 10684]]

 
Greenland turbot....................  BS.....................          121       17,305        0.007        5,296           37        5,109           36
                                      AI.....................           23        4,987        0.005        2,066           10        1,717            9
Arrowtooth flounder.................  BSAI...................           76       33,987        0.002       21,250           43       21,250           43
Kamchatka flounder..................  BSAI...................           76       33,987        0.002       15,045           30       15,045           30
Flathead sole.......................  BSAI...................        1,925       52,755        0.036       30,482        1,097       30,482        1,097
Alaska plaice.......................  BSAI...................           14        9,438        0.001       20,400           20       20,400           20
Other flatfish......................  BSAI...................        3,058       52,298        0.058        2,720          158        2,720          158
Pacific ocean perch.................  BS.....................           12        4,879        0.002        4,854           10        5,559           11
                                      Eastern AI.............          125        6,179         0.02        5,019          100        5,751          115
                                      Central AI.............            3        5,698        0.001        4,456            4        5,099            5
                                      Western AI.............           54       13,598        0.004        7,483           30        8,582           34
Northern rockfish...................  BSAI...................           91       13,040        0.007        4,700           33        4,700           33
Shortraker rockfish.................  BSAI...................           50        2,811        0.018          393            7          393            7
Rougheye rockfish...................  EBS/EAI................           50        2,811        0.018          231            4          241            4
                                      CAI/WAI................           50        2,811        0.018          244            4          258            5
Other rockfish......................  BS.....................           18          621        0.029          500           15          500           15
                                      AI.....................           22          806        0.027          570           15          570           15
Squids..............................  BSAI...................           73        3,328        0.022          361            8          361            8
Skates..............................  BSAI...................          553       68,672        0.008       24,700          198       24,746          198
Sharks..............................  BSAI...................          553       68,672        0.008          200            2          200            2
Octopuses...........................  BSAI...................          553       68,672        0.008          900            7          900            7
Sculpins............................  BSAI...................          553       68,672        0.008        5,200           42        5,200           42
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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.


       Table 12--Final 2012 and 2013 BSAI AFA Listed Catcher/Processor Prohibited Species Sideboard Limits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                 2012 and 2013
                                                                                 PSC available    2012 and 2013
                                                                 Ratio of PSC       to trawl         catcher/
                   PSC species and area\1\                      catch to total   vessels after      processor
                                                                     PSC         subtraction of  sideboard limit
                                                                                    PSQ \2\            \2\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halibut mortality BSAI.......................................              n/a              n/a              286
Red king crab zone 1.........................................            0.007           86,621              606
C. opilio (COBLZ)............................................            0.153        6,277,361          960,436
C. bairdi Zone 1.............................................             0.14          875,140          122,520
C. bairdi Zone 2.............................................             0.05        2,652,210          132,611
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 2012 and 2013 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 2012 and 2013 sideboard limits listed in Table 13.

[[Page 10685]]



                          Table 13--Final 2012 and 2013 American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel BSAI Groundfish Sideboard Limits
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      Ratio of 1995-                       2012 AFA                          2013 AFA
                                                                       1997 AFA CV      2012 initial    catcher vessel    2013 initial    catcher vessel
              Species/gear                 Fishery by area/season     catch to 1995-      TAC \1\         sideboard         TAC \1\         sideboard
                                                                         1997 TAC                           limits                            limits
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod/Jig gear...................  BSAI......................                0              n/a                0              n/a                0
Pacific cod/Hook-and-line CV...........  BSAI Jan 1-Jun 10.........           0.0006              237                0              239                0
                                         BSAI Jun 10-Dec 31........           0.0006              228                0              229                0
Pacific cod pot gear CV................  BSAI Jan 1-Jun 10.........           0.0006            9,950                6           10,022                6
                                         BSAI Sept 1--Dec 31.......           0.0006            9,959                6            9,629                6
Pacific cod CV < 60 feet LOA using hook- BSAI......................           0.0006            4,645                3            4,679                3
 and-line or pot gear.
Pacific cod trawl gear CV..............  BSAI Jan 20-Apr 1.........           0.8609           38,117           32,815           38,394           33,053
                                         BSAI Apr 1-Jun 10.........           0.8609            5,666            4,878            5,707            4,913
                                         BSAI Jun 10-Nov 1.........           0.8609            7,726            6,651            7,783            6,700
Sablefish trawl gear...................  BS........................           0.0906              948               86              935               85
                                         AI........................           0.0645              436               28              429               28
Atka mackerel..........................  Eastern AI/BS Jan 1-Jun 10           0.0032           17,190               55           14,154               45
                                         Eastern AI/BS Jun 10-Nov 1           0.0032           17,190               55           14,154               45
                                         Central AI Jan 1-Jun 10...           0.0001            4,806                0            3,966                0
                                         Central AI Jun 10-Nov 1...           0.0001            4,806                0            3,966                0
                                         Western AI Jan 1-Jun 10...                0              n/a                0              n/a                0
                                         Western AI Jun 10-Nov 1...                0              n/a                0              n/a                0
Rock sole..............................  BSAI......................           0.0341           77,691            2,649           77,691            2,649
Greenland turbot.......................  BS........................           0.0645            5,296              342            5,109              330
                                         AI........................           0.0205            2,066               42            1,717               35
Arrowtooth flounder....................  BSAI......................            0.069           21,250            1,466           21,250            1,466
Kamchatka flounder.....................  BSAI......................            0.069           15,045            1,038           15,045            1,038
Alaska plaice..........................  BSAI......................           0.0441           20,400              900           20,400              900
Other flatfish.........................  BSAI......................           0.0441            2,720              120            2,720              120
Flathead sole..........................  BS........................           0.0505           30,482            1,539           30,482            1,539
Pacific ocean perch....................  BS........................              0.1            4,854              485            5,559              556
                                         Eastern AI................           0.0077            5,019               39            5,751               44
                                         Central AI................           0.0025            4,456               11            5,099               13
                                         Western AI................                0              n/a                0              n/a                0
Northern rockfish......................  BSAI......................           0.0084            4,700               39            4,700               39
Shortraker rockfish....................  BSAI......................           0.0037              393                1              393                1
Rougheye rockfish......................  EBS/EAI...................           0.0037              231                1              241                1
                                         CAI/WAI...................           0.0037              244                1              258                1
Other rockfish.........................  BS........................           0.0048              500                2              500                2
                                         AI........................           0.0095              570                5              570                5
Squids.................................  BSAI......................           0.3827              361              138              361              138
Skates.................................  BSAI......................           0.0541           24,700            1,336           24,746            1,339
Sharks.................................  BSAI......................           0.0541              200               11              200               11
Octopuses..............................  BSAI......................           0.0541              900               49              900               49
Sculpins...............................  BSAI......................           0.0541            5,200              281            5,200              281
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Aleutians 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 2012 and 2013 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 2012 or 2013 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).

[[Page 10686]]



  Table 14--Final 2012 and 2013 American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel Prohibited Species Catch Sideboard Limits
                                                for the BSAI \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            AFA catcher     2012 and 2013 PSC  2012 and 2013 AFA
                                     Target fishery          vessel PSC        limit after       catcher vessel
          PSC species                 category \2\        sideboard limit     subtraction of     PSC sideboard
                                                               ratio           PSQ reserves          limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halibut........................  Pacific cod trawl.....                n/a                n/a                887
                                 Pacific cod hook-and-                 n/a                n/a                  2
                                  line or pot.
                                 Yellowfin sole total..                n/a                n/a                101
                                 Rock sole/flathead                    n/a                n/a                228
                                  sole/other flatfish
                                  \3\.
                                 Greenland turbot/                     n/a                n/a                  0
                                  arrowtooth/sablefish
                                  \4\.
                                 Rockfish..............                n/a                n/a                  2
                                 Pollock/Atka mackerel/                n/a                n/a                  5
                                  other species \5\.
Red king crab Zone 1 4 6.......  n/a...................              0.299             86,621             25,900
C. opilio COBLZ 4 6............  n/a...................              0.168          6,277,361          1,054,597
C. bairdi Zone 1 4 6...........  n/a...................               0.33            875,140            288,796
C. bairdi Zone 2 \6\...........  n/a...................              0.186          2,652,210            493,311
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 sculpins, sharks, skates, and octopuses.
\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 2012 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 2012 and 2013 American Fisheries Act Listed Catcher/Processor Sideboard Directed Fishing
                                                  Closures \1\
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              2012 sideboard     2013 sideboard
             Species                      Area              Gear types            limit              limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish trawl.................  BS.................  trawl..............                 15                 15
                                  AI.................  trawl..............                  0                  0
Rock sole.......................  BSAI...............  all................              2,875              2,875
Greenland turbot................  BS.................  all................                 37                 36
                                  AI.................  all................                 10                  9
Arrowtooth flounder.............  BSAI...............  all................                 43                 43
Kamchatka flounder..............  BSAI...............  all................                 30                 30
Alaska plaice...................  BSAI...............  all................                 20                 20
Other flatfish \2\..............  BSAI...............  all................                158                158
Flathead sole...................  BSAI...............  all................              1,097              1,097
Pacific ocean perch.............  BS.................  all................                 10                 11
                                  Eastern AI.........  all................                100                115
                                  Central AI.........  all................                  4                  5
                                  Western AI.........  all................                 30                 34
Northern rockfish...............  BSAI...............  all................                 33                 33
Shortraker rockfish.............  BSAI...............  all................                  7                  7
Rougheye rockfish...............  EBS/EAI............  all................                  4                  4
                                  CAI/WAI............  all................                  4                  5
Other rockfish \3\..............  BS.................  all................                 15                 15
                                  AI.................  all................                 15                 15
Squids..........................  BSAI...............  all................                  8                  8
Skates..........................  BSAI...............  all................                198                198
Sharks..........................  BSAI...............  all................                  2                  2
Octopuses.......................  BSAI...............  all................                  7                  7
Sculpins........................  BSAI...............  all................                 42                 42
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Maximum retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679.
\2\ ``Other flatfish'' includes all flatfish species, except for halibut, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock
  sole, yellowfin sole, Kamchatka flounder, and arrowtooth flounder.

[[Page 10687]]

 
\3\ ``Other rockfish'' includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern,
  dark, shortraker, and rougheye rockfish.


   Table 16--Final 2012 and 2013 American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel Sideboard Directed Fishing Closures \1\
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              2012 sideboard     2013 sideboard
             Species                      Area              Gear types            limit              limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod.....................  BSAI...............  hook-and-line......                  0                  0
                                  BSAI...............  pot................                 12                 12
                                  BSAI...............  CV< 60 feet LOA....                  3                  3
                                  BSAI...............  jig................                  0                  0
Sablefish.......................  BS.................  trawl..............                 86                 85
                                  AI.................  trawl..............                 28                 28
Atka mackerel...................  Eastern AI/BS......  all................                110                 90
                                  Central AI.........  all................                  0                  0
                                  Western AI.........  all................                  0                  0
Greenland turbot................  BS.................  all................                342                330
                                  AI.................  all................                 42                 35
Arrowtooth flounder.............  BSAI...............  all................              1,466              1,466
Kamchatka flounder..............  BSAI...............  all................              1,038              1,038
Alaska plaice...................  BSAI...............  all................                900                900
Other flatfish \2\..............  BSAI...............  all................                120                120
Flathead sole...................  BSAI...............  all................              1,539              1,539
Rock sole.......................  BSAI...............  all................              2,649              2,649
Pacific ocean perch.............  BS.................  all................                485                556
                                  Eastern AI.........  all................                 39                 44
                                  Central AI.........  all................                 11                 13
                                  Western AI.........  all................                  0                  0
Northern rockfish...............  BSAI...............  all................                 39                 39
Shortraker rockfish.............  BSAI...............  all................                  1                  1
Rougheye rockfish...............  BS/EAI.............  all................                  1                  1
                                  CAI/WAI............  all................                  1                  1
Other rockfish \3\..............  BS.................  all................                  2                  2
                                  AI.................  all................                  5                  5
Squids..........................  BSAI...............  all................                138                138
Skates..........................  BSAI...............  all................               1336               1339
Sharks..........................  BSAI...............  all................                 11                 11
Octopuses.......................  BSAI...............  all................                 49                 49
Sculpins........................  BSAI...............  all................                281                281
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Maximum retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679.
\2\ ``Other flatfish'' includes all flatfish species, except for halibut, flathead sole, Greenland turbot, rock
  sole, yellowfin sole, Kamchatka flounder, and arrowtooth flounder.
\3\ ``Other rockfish'' includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern,
  dark, shortraker, and rougheye rockfish.

Response to Comments

    NMFS received one comment from the Western Alaska Community 
Development Association, which represents the six CDQ groups.
    Comment: This comment states that the CDQ portion of a Kamchatka 
flounder fishery would be too small to support a viable fishery, and 
that it could also constrain other CDQ fisheries. Therefore, the CDQ 
groups request that NMFS does not allocate Kamchatka flounder to the 
CDQ groups for 2012 or 2013.
    Response: In the proposed 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications NMFS 
requested comments about whether Kamchatka flounder was a directed 
fishery 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 
intended to conduct directed fishing for Kamchatka flounder in the 
future. Based on the comment received, NMFS has determined that 
Kamchatka flounder is not a directed fishery of the BSAI under section 
305(i)(1)(B)(ii)(II). Therefore, NMFS will not allocate Kamchatka 
flounder to the CDQ Program in the final 2012 and 2013 harvest 
specifications. However, NMFS will consider allocating Kamchatka 
flounder to the CDQ program 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 2012, 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

[[Page 10688]]

evaluates the need to prepare a Supplemental EIS (SEIS) for the 2012 
and 2013 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 2012 and 2013 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 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications will result in 
environmental impacts within the scope of those analyzed and disclosed 
in the EIS. Therefore, supplemental National Environmental Protection 
Act documentation is not necessary to implement the 2012 and 2013 
harvest specifications.
    Pursuant to section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 
601, et seq., a FRFA was prepared for this action. The FRFA 
incorporates the IRFA, and includes a summary of the significant issues 
raised by public comments in response to the IRFA, and NMFS' responses 
to those comments, and a summary of the analyses completed to support 
the action.
    A copy of the FRFA prepared for this final rule is available from 
NMFS (see ADDRESSES). A description of this action, its purpose, and 
its legal basis are contained at the beginning of the preamble to this 
final rule and are not repeated here.
    NMFS published the proposed rule on December 27, 2011 (76 FR 
80782). The rule was accompanied by an Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis (IRFA), which was summarized in the proposed rule. The comment 
period closed on January 26, 2012. No comments were received on the 
IRFA.
    The entities directly regulated by this action are those that 
receive allocations of groundfish in the EEZ of the BSAI, and in 
parallel fisheries within State of Alaska waters, during the annual 
harvest specifications process. These directly regulated entities 
include the groundfish CVs and C/Ps active in these areas. Direct 
allocations of groundfish are also made to certain organizations, 
including the CDQ groups, American Fisheries Act (AFA) C/P and inshore 
CV sectors, Aleut Corporation, and Amendment 80 cooperatives. These 
entities are, therefore, also considered directly regulated.
    In 2009, there were 191 individual catcher vessels with total gross 
revenues less than or equal to $4 million. Many of these vessels are 
members in AFA inshore pollock cooperatives. Vessels that participate 
in these cooperatives are considered to be large entities within the 
meaning of the RFA. After accounting for membership in these 
cooperatives, there are an estimated 103 small CVs remaining in the 
BSAI.
    In 2009, 18 C/Ps grossed less than $4 million. Some of these 
vessels were affiliated through ownership by the same business firm. 
NMFS estimates that these vessels were owned by 11 separate firms. By 
2011, the vessels in this group were also affiliated through membership 
in two cooperatives (the Amendment 80 ``Best Use'' cooperative, or the 
Freezer Longline Conservation Cooperative). Applying the 2011 firm and 
cooperative affiliations to these vessels, NMFS estimates that these 18 
vessels currently represent two small entities.
    Through the CDQ program, the Council and NMFS allocate a portion of 
the BSAI groundfish TACs, and prohibited species halibut and crab PSC 
limits, to 65 eligible Western Alaska communities. These communities 
work through six non-profit CDQ groups, and are required to use the 
proceeds from the CDQ allocations to start or support activities that 
will result in ongoing, regionally based, commercial fishery or related 
businesses. The CDQ groups receive allocations through the harvest 
specifications process, and are directly regulated by this action, but 
the 65 communities are not directly regulated. Because they are 
nonprofit entities, the CDQ groups are considered small entities for 
RFA purposes.
    The AFA and Amendment 80 fisheries cooperatives are directly 
regulated because they receive allocations of TAC through the harvest 
specifications process. However, the Freezer Longline Conservation 
Cooperative (FLCC), a voluntary private cooperative which became fully 
effective in 2010, is not considered to be directly regulated. The FLCC 
runs a catch share program among its members, but it does not, itself, 
receive an allocation under the harvest specifications. NMFS allocates 
TAC to the freezer longline sector, and the cooperative members 
voluntarily allocate this TAC among themselves via the FLCC. The AFA 
and Amendment 80 cooperatives are large entities, since they are 
affiliated with firms with joint revenues over $4 million.
    The Aleut Corporation is an Alaska Native Corporation that receives 
an allocation of pollock in the Aleutian Islands. The Aleut Corporation 
is a holding company and evaluated according to the SBA criteria at 13 
CFR 121.201, using a $6 million gross annual receipts threshold for 
``Offices of Other Holding Companies.'' Aleut Corporation revenues are 
believed to exceed this threshold, and the Aleut Corporation is 
considered to be a large entity. This determination follows the 
analysis in the RFA certification for BSAI FMP Amendment 82. (NMFS-AKR 
2005: 413).
    This action does not modify recordkeeping or reporting 
requirements.
    The significant alternatives were those considered as alternative 
harvest strategies when the Council selected its preferred harvest 
strategy in December 2006. These included the following:
     Alternative 1: Set TACs to produce fishing mortality 
rates, F, that are equal to maxFABC, unless the sum of the TACs is 
constrained by the OY established in the FMPs. This is equivalent to 
setting TACs to produce harvest levels equal to the maximum permissible 
ABCs, as constrained by OY. The term ``maxFABC'' refers to the maximum 
permissible value of FABC under Amendment 56 to the groundfish FMPs. 
Historically, the TAC has been set at or below the ABC, therefore, this 
alternative represents a likely upper limit for setting the TAC within 
the OY and ABC limits.
     Alternative 3: For species in Tiers 1, 2, and 3, set TAC 
to produce F equal to the most recent 5-year average actual F. For 
species in Tiers 4, 5, and 6, set TAC equal to the most recent 5-year 
average actual catch. For stocks with a high level of scientific 
information, TACs would be set to produce harvest levels equal to the 
most recent five year average actual fishing mortality rates. For 
stocks with insufficient scientific information, TACs would be set 
equal to the most recent five year average actual catch. This 
alternative recognizes that for some stocks, catches may fall well 
below ABCs, and recent average F may provide a better indicator of 
actual F than FABC does.
     Alternative 4: (1) Set TACs for rockfish species in Tier 3 
at F75%. Set TACs for rockfish species in Tier 5 at F=0.5M. Set 
spatially explicit TACs for shortraker and rougheye rockfish in the 
BSAI. (2) Taking the rockfish TACs as calculated above, reduce all 
other TACs by a proportion that does not vary across species, so that 
the sum of all

[[Page 10689]]

TACs, including rockfish TACs, is equal to the lower bound of the area 
OY (1,400,000 mt in the BSAI). This alternative sets conservative and 
spatially explicit TACs for rockfish species that are long-lived and 
late to mature and sets conservative TACs for the other groundfish 
species.
     Alternative 5: Set TACs at zero.
    Alternative 2 is the preferred alternative chosen by the Council: 
Set TACs that fall within the range of ABCs recommended through the 
Council harvest specifications process and TACs recommended by the 
Council. Under this scenario, F is set equal to a constant fraction of 
maxFABC. The recommended fractions of maxFABC may vary among species or 
stocks, based on other considerations unique to each. This is the 
method for determining TACs that has been used in the past.
    Alternatives 1, 3, 4, and 5 do not both meet the objectives of this 
action although they have a smaller adverse economic impact on small 
entities than the preferred alternative. The Council rejected these 
alternatives as harvest strategies in 2006, and the Secretary did so in 
2007. Alternative 1 would lead to TACs whose sum exceeds the fishery 
OY, which is set out in statute and the FMP. As shown in Table 1, the 
sum of ABCs in 2012 and 2013 would be 2,511,778 and 2,639,792 million 
mt. Both of these are substantially in excess of the fishery OY for the 
BSAI. This would be inconsistent with the objectives of this action, in 
that it would violate the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004, Pub. 
L. No. 108-199, Sec. 803(c), and the FMP for the BSAI groundfish 
fishery, which both set a 2,000,000 mt maximum harvest for BSAI 
groundfish.
    Alternative 3 selects harvest rates based on the most recent five 
years' worth of harvest rates (for species in Tiers 1 through 3) or for 
the most recent five years' worth of harvests (for species in Tiers 4 
through 6). This alternative is also inconsistent with the objectives 
of this action, because it does not take account of the most recent 
biological information for this fishery.
    Alternative 4 would lead to significantly lower harvests of all 
species to reduce TACs from the upper end of the OY range in the BSAI, 
to its lower end. This would lead to significant reductions in harvests 
of species by small entities. While reductions of this size could be 
associated with offsetting price increases, the size of these increases 
is very uncertain, and there can be no confidence that they would be 
sufficient to offset the volume decreases and leave revenues unchanged. 
Thus, this action would have an adverse economic impact on small 
entities, compared to the preferred alternative.
    Alternative 5, which sets all harvests equal to zero, may also 
address conservation issues, but would have a significant adverse 
economic impact on small entities.
    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, because delaying this rule is contrary to 
the public interest. Plan Team review occurred in November 2011, and 
Council consideration and recommendations occurred in December 2011. 
Accordingly, NMFS review could not begin until January 2012. If this 
rule's effectiveness is delayed, fisheries that might otherwise remain 
open under these rules may prematurely close based on the lower 2011 
and 2012 harvest specifications (76 FR 11139, March 1, 2011). If 
implemented immediately, this rule would allow these fisheries to 
continue fishing without worrying about a potential closure, because 
the new TACs are higher than the ones under which they are currently 
fishing. 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 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.
    Additionally, in fisheries subject to declining sideboards, 
delaying this rule's effectiveness could allow some vessels 
inadvertently reach or exceed their new sideboard levels. Because 
sideboards are intended to protect traditional fisheries in other 
sectors, allowing one sector to exceed its new sideboards by delaying 
this rule's effectiveness would effectively reduce the available catch 
for non-sideboarded sectors. Thus, the delay is contrary to the public 
interest in protecting traditional fisheries.
    If the final harvest specifications are not effective by March 17, 
2012, which is the start of the 2012 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 2012 and 2013 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 2012 ABCs and TACs 
than those established in the 2011 and 2012 harvest specifications (76 
FR 11139, March 1, 2011). 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 2012 and 2013 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 2012 and 2013 
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.


[[Page 10690]]


    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 15, 2012.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-4106 Filed 2-22-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P