[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 42 (Tuesday, March 4, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 12108-12130]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-04762]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 131021878-4158-02]
RIN 0648-XC927


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea 
and Aleutian Islands; 2014 and 2015 Harvest Specifications for 
Groundfish

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

ACTION: Final rule; specifications and closures.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications, 
prohibited species catch allowances, and closures 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 2014 and 2015 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: Specifications and closures are effective from 1200 hrs, Alaska 
local time (A.l.t.), March 4, 2014, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 
31, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the Alaska Groundfish Harvest 
Specifications Final 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 
2013 Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for the 
groundfish resources of the BSAI, dated November 2013, as well as the 
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://www.npfmc.org/.

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 category. 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 2014 and 2015. NMFS 
also must specify apportionments of TAC, 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 22 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 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications and 
PSC allowances for the groundfish fishery of the BSAI were published in 
the Federal Register on December 10, 2013 (78 FR 74063). Comments were 
invited and accepted through January 9, 2014. NMFS received one letter 
with one 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 2014 and 
2015 harvest specifications during the December 2013 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 2014 and 2015 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 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

[[Page 12109]]

information quality available while Tier 6 represents the lowest.
    In December 2013, the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), 
Advisory Panel (AP), and Council reviewed current biological and 
harvest information about the condition of the BSAI groundfish stocks. 
The Council's Plan Team compiled and presented this information in the 
final 2013 SAFE report for the BSAI groundfish fisheries, dated 
November 2013 (see ADDRESSES). The SAFE report contains a review of the 
latest scientific analyses and estimates of each species' biomass and 
other biological parameters, as well as summaries of the available 
information on the 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. From these data and analyses, the Plan Team recommended 
an OFL and ABC for each species or species category at the November 
2013 Plan Team meeting.
    In December 2013, the SSC, AP, and Council reviewed the Plan Team's 
recommendations. 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 2014 or 2015 exceeds the final 2014 or 
2015 ABCs for any species category. The final 2014 and 2015 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 2013 
SAFE report that was approved by the Council.

Other Actions Potentially Affecting the 2014 and 2015 Harvest 
Specifications

    The Council has recommended Amendment 105 to the FMP, and NMFS is 
currently developing the proposed rule for this action. This action 
could create ABC reserves for CDQ groups and Amendment 80 cooperatives 
for flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole for 2015. These 
entities would be able to exchange their quota share of one of the 
three species (flathead sole, rock sole, and/or yellowfin sole) for an 
equivalent amount of their allocation of the ABC reserves for another 
species (flathead sole, rock sole, and/or yellowfin sole). The approach 
is intended to increase the opportunity for maximizing the harvest of 
these species, while ensuring that the overall 2 million mt OY, and 
ABCs for each individual species, are not exceeded. If the action is 
approved by the Secretary and implemented for 2015, then the harvest 
specifications will include CDQ and Amendment 80 allocations of the ABC 
reserves for these species.
    For 2014, the Board of Fisheries (BOF) for the State of Alaska 
(State) established a Pacific cod guideline harvest level (GHL) in 
State waters between 164 and 167 degrees west longitude in the Bering 
Sea (BS) subarea. The Pacific cod GHL in this area is equal to 3 
percent of the sum of the Pacific cod ABCs for the Aleutian Islands 
(AI) and the BS. To account for the State GHL fishery in 2014 and 2015, 
the Council reduced the final BS subarea TAC by three percent of the 
combined BS and AI subarea ABCs. The combined BS subarea TAC and GHL 
(255,000 mt) equal the final BS subarea ABC.
    For 2014, the BOF for the State established a Pacific cod GHL in 
State waters in the AI subarea. The Pacific cod GHL in this area is 
equal to 3 percent of the sum of the Pacific cod ABCs for the AI and 
the BS. To account for the State GHL fishery in 2014 and 2015, the 
Council reduced the final AI subarea TAC by 3 percent of the combined 
BS and AI subarea ABCs. The combined AI TAC and GHL (15,100 mt) equal 
the final AI subarea ABC.

Changes From the Proposed 2014 and 2015 Harvest Specifications for the 
BSAI

    In October 2013, the Council proposed its recommendations for the 
2014 and 2015 harvest specifications (78 FR 74063, December 10, 2013), 
based largely on information contained in the 2012 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 
final 2013 SAFE report, recommendations from the Plan Team, SSC, and AP 
committees, and public testimony when making its recommendations for 
final harvest specifications 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 2013 SAFE reports indicates biomass 
changes for several groundfish species from the 2012 SAFE reports. At 
the December 2013 Council meeting, the SSC recommended the 2014 and 
2015 ABCs for many species based on the best and most recent 
information contained in the 2013 SAFE reports. This recommendation 
resulted in an ABC sum total for all BSAI groundfish species in excess 
of 2 million mt for both 2014 and 2015. Based on the SSC ABC 
recommendations and the 2013 SAFE reports, the Council recommends 
increasing Bering Sea pollock by 14,500 mt. In terms of percentage, the 
largest increases in TACs were for Eastern Aleutian district and Bering 
Sea (EAI/BS) Atka mackerel and Central Aleutian district (CAI) Atka 
mackerel. Both of these fisheries are valuable and likely to be 
harvested to the full TAC available. The Council increased these TACs 
due to increased biomass estimates and because the TACs were fully 
harvested in 2013. Conversely, the largest decrease in TAC in terms of 
tonnage is 16,000 mt for yellowfin sole. In terms of percentage change 
from the proposed TACs, Bogoslof pollock, rock sole, ``other 
flatfish,'' northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, Western Aleutian 
district (WAI) Atka mackerel, sharks, squids, and octopuses had the 
largest decreases in TAC. The Council decreased TACs for these species 
due to decreased biomass estimates, and because they were not fully 
harvested in 2013. 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, regulatory 
obligations, and harvest strategy as described in the proposed harvest 
specifications. These changes are compared in Table 1A.
    Table 1 lists the Council's recommended final 2014 and 2015 OFL, 
ABC, TAC, initial TAC (ITAC), and CDQ reserve amounts of the BSAI 
groundfish. NMFS concurs in these recommendations. The final 2014 and 
2015 TAC recommendations for the BSAI are within the OY range 
established for the BSAI and do not exceed the ABC for any species or 
species group. The apportionment of TAC amounts among fisheries and 
seasons is discussed below.

[[Page 12110]]



  Table 1-Final 2014 and 2015 Overfishing Level (OFL), Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC), Total Allowable Catch (TAC), Initial TAC (ITAC), and CDQ Reserve Allocation of Groundfish in the BSAI
                                                                                               \1\
                                                                                  [Amounts are in metric tons]
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                                                                                                     2014                                                        2015
                  Species                                Area            -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              OFL         ABC         TAC      ITAC \2\     CDQ \3\       OFL         ABC         TAC      ITAC \2\     CDQ \3\
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Pollock \4\................................  BS.........................   2,795,000   1,369,000   1,267,000   1,140,300     126,700   2,693,000   1,258,000   1,258,000   1,132,200     125,800
                                             AI.........................      42,811      35,048      19,000      17,100       1,900      47,713      39,412      19,000      17,100       1,900
                                             Bogoslof...................      13,413      10,059          75          75           0      13,413      10,059          75          75           0
Pacific cod \5\............................  BS.........................     299,000     255,000     246,897     220,479      26,418     319,000     272,000     251,712     224,779      26,933
                                             AI.........................      20,100      15,100       6,997       6,248         749      20,100      15,100       6,487       5,793         694
Sablefish..................................  BS.........................       1,584       1,339       1,339       1,105         184       1,432       1,210       1,210         514          45
                                             AI.........................       2,141       1,811       1,811       1,471         306       1,936       1,636       1,636         348          31
Yellowfin sole.............................  BSAI.......................     259,700     239,800     184,000     164,312      19,688     268,900     248,300     187,000     166,991      20,009
Greenland turbot...........................  BSAI.......................       2,647       2,124       2,124       1,805         n/a       3,864       3,173       3,173       2,697         n/a
                                             BS.........................         n/a       1,659       1,659       1,410         178         n/a       2,478       2,478       2,106         265
                                             AI.........................         n/a         465         465         395           0         n/a         695         695         591           0
Arrowtooth flounder........................  BSAI.......................     125,642     106,599      25,000      21,250       2,675     125,025     106,089      25,000      21,250       2,675
Kamchatka flounder.........................  BSAI.......................       8,270       7,100       7,100       6,035           0       8,500       7,300       7,300       6,205           0
Rock sole..................................  BSAI.......................     228,700     203,800      85,000      75,905       9,095     213,310     190,100      85,000      75,905       9,095
Flathead sole \6\..........................  BSAI.......................      79,633      66,293      24,500      21,879       2,622      77,023      64,127      25,129      22,440       2,689
Alaska plaice..............................  BSAI.......................      66,800      55,100      24,500      20,825           0      66,300      54,700      25,000      21,250           0
Other flatfish \7\.........................  BSAI.......................      16,700      12,400       2,650       2,253           0      16,700      12,400       3,000       2,550           0
Pacific ocean perch........................  BSAI.......................      39,585      33,122      33,122      29,248         n/a      37,817      31,641      31,641      27,940         n/a
                                             BS.........................         n/a       7,684       7,684       6,531           0         n/a       7,340       7,340       6,239           0
                                             EAI........................         n/a       9,246       9,246       8,257         989         n/a       8,833       8,833       7,888         945
                                             CAI........................         n/a       6,594       6,594       5,888         706         n/a       6,299       6,299       5,625         674
                                             WAI........................         n/a       9,598       9,598       8,571       1,027         n/a       9,169       9,169       8,188         981
Northern rockfish..........................  BSAI.......................      12,077       9,761       2,594       2,205           0      11,943       9,652       3,000       2,550           0
Rougheye rockfish \8\......................  BSAI.......................         505         416         416         354           0         580         478         478         406           0
                                             EBS/EAI....................         n/a         177         177         150           0         n/a         201         201         171           0
                                             CAI/WAI....................         n/a         239         239         203           0         n/a         277         277         235           0
Shortraker rockfish........................  BSAI.......................         493         370         370         315           0         493         370         370         315           0
Other rockfish \9\.........................  BSAI.......................       1,550       1,163         773         657           0       1,550       1,163         873         742           0
                                             BS.........................         n/a         690         300         255           0         n/a         690         400         340           0
                                             AI.........................         n/a         473         473         402           0         n/a         473         473         402           0
Atka mackerel..............................  BSAI.......................      74,492      64,131      32,322      27,971       3,458      74,898      64,477      32,491      29,014       3,477
                                             EAI/BS.....................         n/a      21,652      21,652      19,335       2,317         n/a      21,769      21,769      19,440       2,329
                                             CAI........................         n/a      20,574       9,670       8,635       1,035         n/a      20,685       9,722       8,682       1,040
                                             WAI........................         n/a      21,905       1,000         893         107         n/a      22,023       1,000         893         107
Skates.....................................  BSAI.......................      41,849      35,383      26,000      22,100           0      39,746      33,545      26,000      22,100           0
Sculpins...................................  BSAI.......................      56,424      42,318       5,750       4,888           0      56,424      42,318       5,750       4,888           0
Sharks.....................................  BSAI.......................       1,363       1,022         125         106           0       1,363       1,022         125         106           0
Squids.....................................  BSAI.......................       2,624       1,970         310         264           0       2,624       1,970         325         276           0
Octopuses..................................  BSAI.......................       3,450       2,590         225         191           0       3,450       2,590         225         191           0
                                            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total..................................  ...........................   4,196,553   2,572,819   2,000,000   1,789,338     196,694   4,107,104   2,472,832   2,000,000   1,788,625     196,213
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\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,''
  skates, sculpins, sharks, squids, 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 (3.4 percent), is further allocated by sector for a pollock directed 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 (2,000 mt) is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a pollock directed fishery.
\5\ The BS Pacific cod TAC is reduced by 3 percent from the combined BSAI ABC to account for the State of Alaska's (State) guideline harvest level in State waters of the Bering Sea subarea.
  The AI Pacific cod TAC is reduced by 3 percent from the combined BSAI ABC to account for the State guideline harvest level in State waters of the Aleutian Islands subarea.
\6\ ``Flathead sole'' includes Hippoglossoides elassodon (flathead sole) and Hippoglossoides robustus (Bering flounder).
\7\ ``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.
\8\ ``Rougheye rockfish'' includes Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted).
\9\ ``Other rockfish'' includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, dark rockfish, shortraker rockfish, 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 district, CAI=Central Aleutian district, WAI=Western
  Aleutian district.)


                        Table 1A--Comparison of Final 2014 and 2015 With Proposed 2014 and 2015 Total Allowable Catch in the BSAI
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
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                                                                                                          2014                                   2015
                                                                             2014 final      2014      difference   2015 final      2015      difference
                   Species                              Area \1\                TAC        proposed       from         TAC        proposed       from
                                                                                             TAC        proposed                    TAC        proposed
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock.....................................  BS..........................    1,267,000    1,252,500       14,500    1,258,000    1,252,500        5,500
                                              AI..........................       19,000       19,000            0       19,000       19,000            0
                                              Bogoslof....................           75          100          -25           75          100          -25
Pacific cod.................................  BS..........................      246,897      245,000        1,897      251,712      245,000        6,712
                                              AI..........................        6,997        7,381         -384        6,487        7,381         -894
Sablefish...................................  BS..........................        1,339        1,480         -141        1,210        1,480         -270
                                              AI..........................        1,811        2,010         -199        1,636        2,010         -374
Yellowfin sole..............................  BSAI........................      184,000      200,000      -16,000      187,000      200,000      -13,000
Greenland turbot............................  BS..........................        1,659        1,610           49        2,478        1,610          868
                                              AI..........................          465          450           15          695          450          245
Arrowtooth flounder.........................  BSAI........................       25,000       25,000            0       25,000       25,000            0
Kamchatka flounder..........................  BSAI........................        7,100        7,100            0        7,300        7,100          200

[[Page 12111]]

 
Rock sole...................................  BSAI........................       85,000       94,569       -9,569       85,000       94,569       -9,569
Flathead sole...............................  BSAI........................       24,500       22,699        1,801       25,129       22,699        2,430
Alaska plaice...............................  BSAI........................       24,500       23,700          800       25,000       23,700        1,300
Other flatfish..............................  BSAI........................        2,650        3,500         -850        3,000        3,500         -500
Pacific ocean perch.........................  BS..........................        7,684        7,680            4        7,340        7,680         -340
                                              EAI.........................        9,246        9,240            6        8,833        9,240         -407
                                              CAI.........................        6,594        6,590            4        6,299        6,590         -291
                                              WAI.........................        9,598        9,590            8        9,169        9,590         -421
Northern rockfish...........................  BSAI........................        2,594        3,000         -406        3,000        3,000            0
Rougheye rockfish...........................  BS/EAI......................          177          189          -12          201          189           12
                                              CAI/WAI.....................          239          240           -1          277          240           37
Shortraker rockfish.........................  BSAI........................          370          370            0          370          370            0
Other rockfish..............................  BS..........................          300          400         -100          400          400            0
                                              AI..........................          473          473            0          473          473            0
Atka mackerel...............................  EAI/BS......................       21,652       16,500        5,152       21,769       16,500        5,269
                                              CAI.........................        9,670        7,379        2,291        9,722        7,379        2,343
                                              WAI.........................        1,000        1,500         -500        1,000        1,500         -500
Skates......................................  BSAI........................       26,000       24,000        2,000       26,000       24,000        2,000
Sculpins....................................  BSAI........................        5,750        5,600          150        5,750        5,600          150
Sharks......................................  BSAI........................          125          150          -25          125          150          -25
Squid.......................................  BSAI........................          310          500         -190          325          500         -175
Octopuses...................................  BSAI........................          225          500         -275          225          500         -275
                                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...................................  BSAI........................    2,000,000    2,000,000            0    2,000,000    2,000,000            0
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\1\ Bering Sea subarea (BS), Aleutian Islands subarea (AI), Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI), Eastern Aleutian District (EAI),
  Central Aleutian District (CAI), and Western Aleutian District (WAI).

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, hook-and-line and pot 
gear allocation of sablefish, and Amendment 80 species, in a non-
specified reserve. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires that NMFS 
allocate 20 percent of the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of 
sablefish for the fixed-gear sablefish CDQ reserve. Section 
679.20(b)(1)(ii)(D) requires that NMFS 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. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) requires that NMFS allocate 10.7 
percent of the TAC 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 3.4 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 2013. 
During this 15-year period, the pollock incidental catch ranged from a 
low of 2.3 percent in 2012 to a high of 5 percent in 1999, with a 15-
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 
2,000 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 2013. During this 
11-year period, the incidental catch of pollock ranged from a low of 5 
percent in 2006 to a high of 17 percent in 2013, with an 11-year 
average of 8 percent.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(8) and (10), NMFS allocates ICAs of 
5,000 mt of flathead sole, 8,000 mt of rock sole, 2,400 mt of yellowfin 
sole, 10 mt of WAI Pacific ocean perch, 75 mt of CAI Pacific ocean 
perch, 200 mt of EAI Pacific ocean perch, 40 mt of WAI Atka mackerel, 
75 mt of CAI Atka mackerel, 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 2013.
    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 that contributed to the non-
specified reserves during the year, provided 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 1 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 shortraker rockfish, 
rougheye rockfish, ``other

[[Page 12112]]

rockfish,'' sharks, and octopuses by 15 percent of the TAC in 2014 and 
2015.

                    Table 2--Final 2014 and 2015 Apportionment of Reserves to ITAC Categories
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              2014       2014                  2015       2015
            Species-area or subarea                2014     reserve     final       2015     reserve     final
                                                   ITAC      amount      ITAC       ITAC      amount      ITAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shortraker rockfish--BSAI.....................        315         56        370        315         56        370
Rougheye rockfish--EBS/EAI....................        150         27        177        171         30        201
Rougheye rockfish--CAI/WAI....................        203         36        239        235         42        277
Other rockfish--Bering Sea subarea............        255         45        300        340         60        400
Other rockfish--Aleutian Islands subarea......        402         71        473        402         71        473
Sharks........................................        106         19        125        106         19        125
Octopuses.....................................        191         34        225        191         34        225
                                               -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.....................................      1,623        286      1,909      1,760        311      2,071
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 10 percent for the CDQ program and 
3.4 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 2,000 mt 
for the ICA (Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(ii)). In the AI subarea, the 
total A season apportionment of the TAC is less than or equal to 40 
percent of the ABC and the remainder of the TAC is allocated to the B 
season. Table 3 lists these 2014 and 2015 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 2014 and 2015 
allocations of pollock TAC. Tables 17 through 22 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 no 
more than 28 percent of the annual DFA before 12:00 noon, April 1, as 
provided in Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(i)(C). 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 2014 and 2015 
amounts by sector.

[[Page 12113]]



                         Table 3--Final 2014 and 2015 Allocations of Pollock TACS to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ Directed Fishing Allowances (DFA) \1\
                                                                                  [Amounts are in metric tons]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                         2014 A season \1\        2014  B season                         2015 A season \1\        2015 B  season
                                                                       2014      --------------------------------       \1\            2015      --------------------------------       \1\
                         Area and sector                            Allocations                     SCA harvest  ----------------   Allocations                     SCA harvest  ---------------
                                                                                   A season DFA      limit \2\     B season DFA                    A season DFA      limit \2\     B season DFA
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea subarea..............................................       1,267,000             n/a             n/a             n/a       1,258,000             n/a             n/a             n/a
CDQ DFA.........................................................         126,700          50,680          35,476          76,020         125,800          50,320          35,224          75,480
ICA \1\.........................................................          38,770             n/a             n/a             n/a          38,495             n/a             n/a             n/a
AFA Inshore.....................................................         550,765         220,306         154,214         330,459         546,853         218,741         153,119         328,112
AFA Catcher/Processors \3\......................................         440,612         176,245         123,371         264,367         437,482         174,993         122,495         262,489
Catch by C/Ps...................................................         403,160         161,264             n/a         241,896         400,296         160,118             n/a         240,178
Catch by CVs \3\................................................          37,452          14,981             n/a          22,471          37,186          14,874             n/a          22,312
Unlisted C/P Limit \4\..........................................           2,203             881             n/a           1,322           2,187             875             n/a           1,312
AFA Motherships.................................................         110,153          44,061          30,843          66,092         109,371          43,748          30,624          65,622
Excessive Harvesting Limit \5\..................................         192,768             n/a             n/a             n/a         191,398             n/a             n/a             n/a
Excessive Processing Limit \6\..................................         330,459             n/a             n/a             n/a         328,112             n/a             n/a             n/a
Total Bering Sea DFA............................................       1,101,530         440,612         308,428         660,918       1,093,705         437,482         306,237         656,223
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.............................................................           2,000           1,000             n/a           1,000           2,000           1,000             n/a           1,000
Aleut Corporation...............................................          15,100          12,259             n/a           2,841          15,100          14,005             n/a           1,095
Bogoslof District ICA \7\.......................................              75             n/a             n/a             n/a              75             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 (3.4 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 (2,000 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a pollock directed 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 pollock directed 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.
\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.


[[Page 12114]]

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 
percentage of the ITAC for Atka mackerel allocated to the Amendment 80 
and BSAI trawl limited access sectors is listed in Table 33 to part 679 
and in 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 
vessels using jig gear. The percent of this allocation is recommended 
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 2014 
and 2015. 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 (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 
(WAI), and the TAC is set to account for discards in other fisheries. 
Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(A) apportions the Atka mackerel TAC 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 ICA and jig gear 
allocations are not apportioned by season.
    Sections 679.20(a)(8)(ii)(C)(1)(i) and (ii) require 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 2014 and 2015 Atka mackerel seasons, area 
allowances, and the sector allocations. The 2015 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, 2014. NMFS will post 2015 
Amendment 80 allocations when they become available in December 2014.

 Table 4--Final 2014 and 2015 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]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   2014 allocation by area                2015 allocation by area
                                                                           -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              Eastern      Central                   Eastern
                 Sector \1\                           Season 2 3 4            Aleutian     Aleutian     Western      Aleutian   Central \5\    Western
                                                                             District/     District     Aleutian    District/     Aleutian     Aleutian
                                                                             Bering Sea      \5\        District    Bering Sea    District     District
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAC........................................  n/a..........................       21,652        9,670        1,000       21,769        9,722        1,000
CDQ reserve................................  Total........................        2,317        1,035          107        2,329        1,040          107
                                             A............................        1,158          517           54        1,165          520           54
                                             Critical Habitat \5\.........          n/a           52          n/a          n/a           52          n/a
                                             B............................        1,158          517           54        1,165          520           54
                                             Critical Habitat \5\.........          n/a           52          n/a          n/a           52          n/a
ICA........................................  Total........................        1,000           75           40        1,000           75           40
Jig \6\....................................  Total........................           92            0            0           92            0            0
BSAI trawl limited access..................  Total........................        1,824          856            0        1,835          861            0
                                             A............................          912          428            0          917          430            0
                                             B............................          912          428            0          917          430            0
Amendment 80 sectors.......................  Total........................       16,419        7,704          853       16,513        7,746          853
                                             A............................        8,210        3,852          427        8,256        3,873          427
                                             B............................        8,210        3,852          427        8,256        3,873          427
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative \7\..........  Total \7\....................        9,487        4,597          500          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             A............................        4,744        2,299          250          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             Critical Habitat \5\.........          n/a          230          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             B............................        4,744        2,299          250          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             Critical Habitat \5\.........          n/a          230          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
Alaska Seafood Cooperative \7\.............  Total \7\....................        6,932        3,107          353          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             A............................        3,466        1,554          177          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             Critical Habitat \5\.........          n/a          155          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             B............................        3,466        1,554          177          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                             Critical Habitat \5\.........          n/a          155          n/a          n/a          n/a         n/a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Section 679.20(a)(8)(ii) allocates the Atka mackerel TACs, after subtracting 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.

[[Page 12115]]

 
\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 in 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.
\7\ The 2015 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, 2014. NMFS will post 2015 Amendment 80 allocations when they become available in
  December 2014.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

Allocation of the Pacific Cod TAC

    The Council separated BS and AI subarea OFLs, ABCs, and TACs for 
Pacific cod. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) allocates 10.7 percent of the 
BS TAC and AI TAC to the CDQ program. After CDQ allocations have been 
deducted from the respective BS and AI Pacific cod TACs, the remaining 
BS and AI Pacific cod TACs are combined for calculating further BSAI 
Pacific cod sector allocations. However, if the non-CDQ Pacific cod TAC 
is or will be reached in either the BS or AI subareas, NMFS will 
prohibit non-CDQ directed fishing for Pacific cod in that subarea as 
provided in Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii).
    Sections 679.20(a)(7)(i) and (ii) allocate the Pacific cod TAC in 
the combined BSAI TAC, after subtracting 10.7 percent for the CDQ 
program, 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 2014 and 2015, 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 2015 
allocations for Amendment 80 species 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, 2014. NMFS will post 2015 Amendment 80 allocations when 
they become available in December 2014.
    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 2014 and 
2015 Pacific cod TACs are listed in Tables 5 and 6, 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 5--Final 2014 Gear Shares and Seasonal Allowances of the BSAI Pacific Cod TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    2014 share                   2014 seasonal apportionment
                                                     of gear     2014 share ------------------------------------
             Gear sector                Percent       sector     of sector
                                                      total        total             Seasons            Amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BS TAC..............................  ...........      246,897          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
BS CDQ..............................  ...........       26,418          n/a  see Sec.                        n/a
                                                                              679.20(a)(7)(i)(B).
BS non-CDQ TAC......................  ...........      220,479          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
AI TAC..............................  ...........        6,997          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
AI CDQ..............................  ...........          749          n/a  see Sec.                        n/a
                                                                              679.20(a)(7)(i)(B).
AI non-CDQ TAC......................  ...........        6,248          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
Total BSAI non-CDQ TAC \1\..........          100      226,727          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
Total hook-and-line/pot gear........         60.8      137,850          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
Hook-and-line/pot ICA \2\...........          n/a          500          n/a  see Sec.                        n/a
                                                                              679.20(a)(7)(ii)(B).
Hook-and-line/pot sub-total.........          n/a      137,350          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
Hook-and-line catcher/processor.....         48.7          n/a      110,016  Jan 1-Jun 10..........       56,108
                                                                             Jun 10-Dec 31.........       53,908
Hook-and-line catcher vessel [gteqt]          0.2          n/a          452  Jan 1-Jun 10..........          230
 60 ft LOA.
                                                                             Jun 10-Dec 31.........          221
Pot catcher/processor...............          1.5          n/a        3,389  Jan 1-Jun 10..........        1,728
                                                                             Sept 1-Dec 31.........        1,660
Pot catcher vessel [gteqt] 60 ft LOA          8.4          n/a       18,976  Jan 1-Jun 10..........        9,678
                                                                             Sept 1-Dec 31.........        9,298
Catcher vessel < 60 ft LOA using                2          n/a        4,518  n/a...................          n/a
 hook-and-line or pot gear.
Trawl catcher vessel................         22.1       50,107          n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1..........       37,079
                                                                             Apr 1-Jun 10..........        5,512
                                                                             Jun 10-Nov 1..........        7,516
AFA trawl catcher/processor.........          2.3        5,215          n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1..........        3,911
                                                                             Apr 1-Jun 10..........        1,304
                                                                             Jun 10-Nov 1..........            0
Amendment 80........................         13.4       30,381          n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1..........       22,786
                                                                             Apr 1-Jun 10..........        7,595

[[Page 12116]]

 
                                                                             Jun 10-Nov 1..........            0
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative.......          n/a          n/a        5,657  Jan 20-Apr 1..........        4,243
                                                                             Apr 1-Jun 10..........        1,414
                                                                             Jun 10-Nov 1..........            0
Alaska Seafood Cooperative..........          n/a          n/a       24,724  Jan 20-Apr 1..........       18,543
                                                                             Apr 1-Jun 10..........        6,181
                                                                             Jun 10-Nov 1..........            0
Jig.................................          1.4        3,174          n/a  Jan 1-Apr 30..........        1,905
                                                                             Apr 30-Aug 31.........          635
                                                                             Aug 31-Dec 31.........         635
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The gear shares and seasonal allowances for BSAI Pacific cod TAC are based on the sum of the BS and AI
  Pacific cod TACs, after the subtraction of CDQ. If the TAC for Pacific cod in either the AI or BS is reached,
  then directed fishing for Pacific cod in that subarea may be prohibited, even if a BSAI allowance remains.
\2\ 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 for 2014
  based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


               Table 6--Final 2015 Gear Shares and Seasonal Allowances of the BSAI Pacific Cod TAC
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    2015 share                   2015 seasonal apportionment
                                                     of gear     2015 share ------------------------------------
             Gear sector                Percent       sector     of sector
                                                      total        total             Seasons            Amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BS TAC..............................          n/a      251,712          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
BS CDQ..............................          n/a       26,933          n/a  see Sec.                        n/a
                                                                              679.20(a)(7)(i)(B).
BS non-CDQ TAC......................          n/a      224,779          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
AI TAC..............................          n/a        6,487          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
AI CDQ..............................          n/a          694          n/a  see Sec.                        n/a
                                                                              679.20(a)(7)(i)(B).
AI non-CDQ TAC......................          n/a        5,793          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
Total BSAI non-CDQ TAC \1\..........          n/a      230,572          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
Total hook-and-line/pot gear........         60.8      140,188          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
Hook-and-line/pot ICA \2\...........          n/a          500          n/a  see Sec.                        n/a
                                                                              679.20(a)(7)(ii)(B).
Hook-and-line/pot sub-total.........          n/a      139,688          n/a  n/a...................          n/a
Hook-and-line catcher/processor.....         48.7          n/a      111,888  Jan 1-Jun 10..........       57,063
                                                                             Jun 10-Dec 31.........       54,825
Hook-and-line catcher vessel [gteqt]          0.2          n/a          459  Jan 1-Jun 10..........          234
 60 ft LOA.
                                                                             Jun 10-Dec 31.........          225
Pot catcher/processor...............          1.5          n/a        3,446  Jan 1-Jun 10..........        1,758
                                                                             Sept 1-Dec 31.........        1,689
Pot catcher vessel [gteqt] 60 ft LOA          8.4          n/a       19,299  Jan 1-Jun 10..........        9,842
                                                                             Sept 1-Dec 31.........        9,456
Catcher vessel < 60 ft LOA using                2          n/a        4,595  n/a...................          n/a
 hook-and-line or pot gear.
Trawl catcher vessel................         22.1       50,956          n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1..........       37,708
                                                                             Apr 1-Jun 10..........        5,605
                                                                             Jun 10-Nov 1..........        7,643
AFA trawl catcher/processor.........          2.3        5,303          n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1..........        3,977
                                                                             Apr 1-Jun 10..........        1,326
                                                                             Jun 10-Nov 1..........            0
Amendment 80........................         13.4       30,897          n/a  Jan 20-Apr 1..........       23,172
                                                                             Apr 1-Jun 10..........        7,724
                                                                             Jun 10-Nov 1..........            0
Jig.................................          1.4        3,228          n/a  Jan 1-Apr 30..........        1,937
                                                                             Apr 30-Aug 31.........          646
                                                                             Aug 31-Dec 31.........         646
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The gear shares and seasonal allowances for BSAI Pacific cod TAC are based on the sum of the BS and AI
  Pacific cod TACs, after the subtraction of CDQ. If the TAC for Pacific cod in either the AI or BS is reached,
  then directed fishing for Pacific cod in that subarea may be prohibited, even if a BSAI allowance remains.
\2\ 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 for 2015
  based on anticipated incidental catch in these fisheries.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

Sablefish Gear Allocation

    Sections 679.20(a)(4)(iii) and (iv) require allocation of the 
sablefish TAC for the BS and AI subareas between trawl and hook-and-
line or pot gear sectors. Gear allocations of the TAC for the BS 
subarea are 50 percent for trawl gear and 50 percent for hook-and-line 
or pot gear. Gear allocations of the TACs

[[Page 12117]]

for the AI subarea are 25 percent for trawl gear and 75 percent for 
hook-and-line or pot gear. Section 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(B) requires NMFS to 
apportion 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)(1) requires that 7.5 percent of the trawl gear 
allocation of sablefish from the non-specified 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. The harvest specifications for the hook-and-line gear and 
pot gear sablefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) fisheries will be 
limited to the 2014 fishing year to ensure those fisheries are 
conducted concurrently with the halibut IFQ fishery. Concurrent 
sablefish and halibut IFQ fisheries will 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 harvest specifications for the sablefish IFQ fisheries 
are in effect. Table 7 lists the 2014 and 2015 gear allocations of the 
sablefish TAC and CDQ reserve amounts.

                                     Table 7--Final 2014 and 2015 Gear Shares and CDQ Reserve of BSAI Sablefish TACs
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Percent of   2014 Share                 2014 CDQ    2015 Share                 2015 CDQ
                       Subarea and gear                            TAC         of TAC     2014 ITAC     reserve       of TAC     2015 ITAC     reserve
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bering Sea
    Trawl \1\................................................           50          670          569           50          605          514           45
    Hook-and-line/pot gear \2\...............................           50          670          536          134          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        TOTAL................................................          100        1,339        1,105          184          605          514           45
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aleutian Islands
    Trawl \1\................................................           25          453          385           34          409          348           31
    Hook-and-line/pot gear \2\...............................           75        1,358        1,086          272          n/a          n/a          n/a
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        TOTAL................................................          100        1,811        1,471          306          409          348           31
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 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.

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 TAC 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 2015 allocations for Amendment 80 species 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, 2014. NMFS will publish 2015 Amendment 80 
allocations when they become available in December 2014. Tables 8 and 9 
list the 2014 and 2015 allocations of the AI Pacific ocean perch, and 
BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole TACs.

  Table 8--Final 2014 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.....................................................           9,246           6,594           9,598          24,500          85,000         184,000
CDQ.....................................................             989             706           1,027           2,622           9,095          19,688
ICA.....................................................             200              75              10           5,000           8,000           2,400
BSAI trawl limited access...............................             806             581             171               0               0          29,707
Amendment 80............................................           7,251           5,232           8,390          16,879          67,905         132,205
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative...........................           3,845           2,774           4,449           3,313          19,400          56,779
Alaska Seafood Cooperative..............................           3,406           2,458           3,941          13,566          48,505          75,426
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


[[Page 12118]]


  Table 9--Final 2015 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.....................................................           8,833           6,299           9,169          25,129          85,000         187,000
CDQ.....................................................             945             674             981           2,689           9,095          20,009
ICA.....................................................             200              75              10           5,000           8,000           2,400
BSAI trawl limited access...............................             769             555             164               0               0          30,779
Amendment 80\1\.........................................           6,919           4,995           8,014          17,440          67,905         133,812
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2015 allocations for Amendment 80 species 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, 2014. NMFS will publish 2015 Amendment 80 allocations when they become
  available in December 2014.
Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.

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 2014 and 2015 BSAI halibut mortality 
limits are 3,675 mt for trawl fisheries and 900 mt for the non-trawl 
fisheries. Sections 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(2) and 679.21(e)(4)(i)(A) 
allocate 326 mt of the trawl halibut mortality limit and 7.5 percent, 
or 67 mt, of the non-trawl halibut mortality limit as the PSQ reserve 
for use by the groundfish CDQ program.
    Section 679.21(e)(4)(i) authorizes apportioning the non-trawl 
halibut PSC limit into PSC bycatch allowances among six fishery 
categories. Tables 11 and 12 list the fishery bycatch allowances for 
the trawl fisheries, and Table 13 lists the fishery bycatch allowances 
for the non-trawl fisheries.
    Pursuant to section 3.6 of the 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 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 2013, 
total groundfish catch for the pot gear fishery in the BSAI was 
approximately 34,368 mt, with an associated halibut bycatch mortality 
of about 3 mt.
    The 2013 jig gear fishery harvested about 40 mt of groundfish. Most 
vessels in the jig gear fleet 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) annually allocates portions of either 47,591 
or 60,000 Chinook salmon PSC limits among the AFA sectors, depending on 
past catch performance and on whether 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), then 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 2014, 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, 2014 allocations, and reports at: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/bycatch/default.htm.
    Section 679.21(e)(1)(viii) specifies 700 fish as the 2014 and 2015 
Chinook salmon PSC limit for the AI subarea pollock fishery. Section 
679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(3)(i) allocates 7.5 percent, or 53 Chinook salmon, 
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 2014 and 
2015 non-Chinook salmon PSC limit in the Catcher Vessel Operational 
Area (CVOA). Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(3)(ii) allocates 10.7 percent, 
or 4,494 non-Chinook salmon in the CVOA as the PSQ for the CDQ program, 
and allocates the remaining 37,506 non-Chinook salmon in the CVOA as 
the PSC limit for the non-CDQ fisheries.
    PSC limits for crab and herring are specified annually based on 
abundance and spawning biomass. Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A)(1) allocates 
10.7 percent from each trawl gear PSC limit specified for crab as a PSQ 
reserve for use by the groundfish CDQ program.
    Based on the 2013 survey data, the red king crab mature female 
abundance is estimated at 19.9 million red king crabs, and the 
effective spawning biomass is estimated at 49.3 million lb (22,362 mt). 
Based on the criteria set out at Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(i), the 2014 and 
2015 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).

[[Page 12119]]

    Section 679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B)(2) establishes criteria under which 
NMFS must specify an annual red king crab bycatch limit for the Red 
King Crab Savings Subarea (RKCSS). The regulations limit the RKCSS red 
king crab bycatch limit 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 2013, the Council recommended and NMFS 
concurs that the red king crab bycatch limit be equal to 25 percent of 
the red king crab PSC limit within the RKCSS (Table 11).
    Based on 2013 survey data, Tanner crab (Chionoecetes bairdi) 
abundance is estimated at 946 million animals. Pursuant to criteria set 
out at Sec.  679.21(e)(1)(ii), the calculated 2014 and 2015 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 derive 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 crab. Based on the 2013 
survey estimate of 10.005 billion animals, the calculated C. opilio 
crab PSC limit is 11,185,892 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 
2014 and 2015 herring biomass is 217,153 mt. This amount was derived 
using 2013 survey data and an age-structured biomass projection model 
developed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Therefore, the 
herring PSC limit for 2014 and 2015 is 2,172 mt for all trawl gear as 
listed in Tables 10 and 11.
    Section 679.21(e)(3)(i)(A) requires PSQ reserves to be subtracted 
from the total trawl PSC limits. The 2014 PSC limits assigned to the 
Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sectors are specified in 
Table 35 to part 679. The resulting allocations of PSC limit to CDQ 
PSQ, the Amendment 80 sector, and the BSAI trawl limited access 
fisheries are listed in Table 10. 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 
14. PSC cooperative quota assigned to Amendment 80 cooperatives is not 
allocated to specific fishery categories. In 2014, there are no vessels 
in the Amendment 80 limited access sector. The 2015 PSC allocations 
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, 2014. 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 12 and 13 to maximize harvest 
among gear types, fisheries, and seasons while minimizing bycatch of 
PSC based on the above criteria.

 Table 10--Final 2014 and 2015 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                 Amendment    BSAI trawl
                   PSC species and area \1\                     Total non-   remaining   Total trawl   remaining     CDQ PSQ     80 sector     limited
                                                                trawl PSC    after CDQ       PSC       after CDQ   reserve \2\      \3\         access
                                                                              PSQ \2\                   PSQ \2\                                fishery
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halibut mortality (mt) BSAI..................................          900          832        3,675        3,349          393        2,325          875
Herring (mt) BSAI............................................          n/a          n/a        2,172          n/a          n/a          n/a          n/a
Red king crab (animals) Zone 1...............................          n/a          n/a       97,000       86,621       10,379       43,293       26,489
C. opilio (animals) COBLZ....................................          n/a          n/a   11,185,892    9,989,002    1,196,890    4,909,594    3,210,465
C. bairdi crab (animals) Zone 1..............................          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\ Refer to Sec.   679.2 for definitions of zones.
\2\ 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.
\3\ 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: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


 Table 11--Final 2014 and 2015 Herring and Red King Crab Savings Subarea
        Prohibited Species Catch Allowances for All Trawl Sectors
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Red king
                                                  Herring        crab
              Fishery categories                 (mt) BSAI    (animals)
                                                                Zone 1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yellowfin sole................................          148          n/a
Rock sole/flathead sole/other flatfish \1\....           24          n/a
Turbot/arrowtooth/sablefish \2\...............           16          n/a

[[Page 12120]]

 
Rockfish......................................           11          n/a
Pacific cod...................................           33          n/a
Midwater trawl pollock........................        1,776          n/a
Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species 3 4.......          164          n/a
Red king crab savings subarea non-pelagic               n/a       24,250
 trawl gear \5\...............................
Total trawl PSC...............................        2,172       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 skates, sculpins,
  sharks, squids, and octopuses.
\5\ In December 2013 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 12--Final 2014 and 2015 Prohibited Species Bycatch Allowances for the BSAI Trawl Limited Access Sector
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 Prohibited species and area \1\
                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Red king                   C. bairdi (animals)
      BSAI trawl limited access fisheries          Halibut        crab      C. opilio  -------------------------
                                                  mortality    (animals)    (animals)
                                                  (mt) BSAI      Zone 1       COBLZ        Zone 1       Zone 2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yellowfin sole.................................          167       23,338    3,026,465      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        5,000            0        1,000
Pacific cod....................................          453        2,954      129,000       60,000       50,000
Pollock/Atka mackerel/other species \4\........          250          197       50,000        5,000        5,000
                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Total BSAI trawl limited access PSC........          875       26,489    3,210,465      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 skates, sculpins, sharks, squids, and octopuses.
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.


 Table 13--Final 2014 and 2015 Prohibited Species Bycatch Allowances for
                           Non-Trawl Fisheries
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Catcher/      Catcher
             Non-trawl fisheries               processor       vessel
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod--Total..........................          760  15.
    January 1-June 10.......................          455  10.
    June 10-August 15.......................          190  3.
    August 15-December 31...................          115  2.
Other non-trawl--Total......................  ...........  58.
    May 1-December 31.......................  ...........  58.
Groundfish pot and jig......................  ...........  Exempt.
Sablefish hook-and-line.....................  ...........  Exempt.
Total non-trawl PSC.........................  ...........  833.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to
  rounding.


        Table 14--Final 2014 Prohibited Species Bycatch Allowance for the BSAI Amendment 80 Cooperatives
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 Prohibited species and zones \1\
                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Red king                   C. bairdi (animals)
                  Cooperative                      Halibut        crab      C. opilio  -------------------------
                                                  mortality    (animals)    (animals)
                                                  (mt) BSAI      Zone 1       COBLZ        Zone 1       Zone 2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska Seafood Cooperative.....................        1,602       29,285    3,150,269      257,941      431,195

[[Page 12121]]

 
Alaska Groundfish Cooperative..................          723       14,008    1,759,325      110,580      196,583
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 
2014 and 2015 BSAI groundfish fisheries for use in monitoring the 2014 
and 2015 halibut bycatch allowances (see Tables 10, 11, 12, 13, and 
14). The IPHC developed these DMRs for the 2014 and 2015 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. A discussion of the DMRs is 
available from the Council (see ADDRESSES). Table 15 lists the 2014 and 
2015 DMRs.

  Table 15--Final 2014 and 2015 Pacific Halibut Discard Mortality Rates
                              for the BSAI
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Halibut discard
             Gear                      Fishery           mortality rate
                                                           (percent)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Non-CDQ hook-and-line.........  Greenland turbot.....                 13
                                Other species \1\....                  9
                                Pacific cod..........                  9
                                Rockfish.............                  4
Non-CDQ trawl.................  Alaska plaice........                 71
                                Arrowtooth flounder                   76
                                 \2\.
                                Atka mackerel........                 77
                                Flathead sole........                 73
                                Greenland turbot.....                 64
                                Non-pelagic pollock..                 77
                                Pelagic pollock......                 88
                                Other flatfish \3\...                 71
                                Other species \1\....                 71
                                Pacific cod..........                 71
                                Rockfish.............                 79
                                Rock sole............                 85
                                Sablefish............                 75
                                Yellowfin sole.......                 83
Non-CDQ Pot...................  Other species \1\....                  8
                                Pacific cod..........                  8
CDQ trawl.....................  Atka mackerel........                 86
                                Greenland turbot.....                 89
                                Flathead sole........                 79
                                Non-pelagic pollock..                 83
                                Pacific cod..........                 90
                                Pelagic pollock......                 90
                                Rockfish.............                 80
                                Rock sole............                 88
                                Yellowfin sole.......                 86
CDQ hook-and-line.............  Greenland turbot.....                  4
                                Pacific cod..........                 10
CDQ pot.......................  Pacific cod..........                  8
                                Sablefish............                 34
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ ``Other species'' includes skates, sculpins, sharks, squids, and
  octopuses.
\2\ Arrowtooth flounder includes Kamchatka flounder.
\3\ ``Other flatfish'' includes all flatfish species, except for halibut
  (a prohibited species), Alaska plaice, flathead sole, Greenland
  turbot, rock sole, yellowfin sole, Kamchatka flounder, and arrowtooth
  flounder.


[[Page 12122]]

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 on historic catch patterns and anticipated fishing activity, 
the Regional Administrator has determined that the groundfish 
allocation amounts in Table 16 will be necessary as incidental catch to 
support other anticipated groundfish fisheries for the 2014 and 2015 
fishing years. Consequently, in accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), 
the Regional Administrator establishes the DFA for the species and 
species groups in Table 10 as zero. Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for these 
sectors and species in the specified areas effective at 1200 hrs, 
A.l.t., March 4, 2014, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2015. 
Also, for the BSAI trawl limited access sector, bycatch allowances of 
halibut, red king crab, C. bairdi crab, and C. opilio crab listed in 
Table 10 are insufficient to support directed fisheries. Therefore, in 
accordance with Sec.  679.21(e)(7), NMFS is prohibiting directed 
fishing for these sectors and fishery categories in the specified areas 
effective at 1200 hrs, A.l.t., March 4, 2014, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., 
December 31, 2015.

                              Table 16--2014 and 2015 Directed Fishing Closures \1\
           [Groundfish and halibut amounts are in metric tons. Crab amounts are in number of animals.]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                       2014            2015
                                                                                    Incidental      Incidental
               Area                         Sector                Species              catch           catch
                                                                                     allowance       allowance
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bogoslof District.................  All..................  Pollock..............              75              75
Aleutian Islands subarea..........  All..................  ICA pollock..........           2,000           2,000
                                                           ``Other rockfish''                473             473
                                                            \2\.
Eastern Aleutian District/Bering    Non-amendment 80 and   ICA Atka mackerel....           1,000           1,000
 Sea.                                BSAI trawl limited
                                     access.
Eastern Aleutian District/Bering    All..................  Rougheye rockfish....             177             201
 Sea.
Eastern Aleutian District.........  Non-amendment 80 and   ICA Pacific ocean                 200             200
                                     BSAI trawl limited     perch.
                                     access.
Central Aleutian District.........  Non-amendment 80 and   ICA Atka mackerel....              75              75
                                     BSAI trawl limited
                                     access.
                                                           ICA Pacific ocean                  75              75
                                                            perch.
Western Aleutian District.........  Non-amendment 80 and   ICA Atka mackerel....              40              40
                                     BSAI trawl limited
                                     access.
                                                           ICA Pacific ocean                  10              10
                                                            perch.
Central and Western Aleutian        All..................  Rougheye rockfish....             239             277
 Districts.
Bering Sea subarea................  All..................  Pacific ocean perch..           6,531           6,239
                                                           ``Other rockfish''                300             400
                                                            \2\.
                                                           ICA pollock..........          38,770          38,495
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands...  All..................  Northern rockfish....           2,205           2,550
                                                           Shortraker rockfish..             370             370
                                                           Skates...............          22,100          22,100
                                                           Sculpins.............           4,888           4,888
                                                           Sharks...............             125             125
                                                           Squids...............             264             276
                                                           Octopuses............             225             225
                                    Hook-and-line and pot  ICA Pacific cod......             500             500
                                     gear.
                                    Non-amendment 80.....  ICA flathead sole....           5,000           5,000
                                                           ICA rock sole........           8,000           8,000
                                    Non-amendment 80 and   ICA yellowfin sole...           2,400           2,400
                                     BSAI trawl limited
                                     access.
                                                           Rock sole/flathead                  0               0
                                                            sole/other flatfish--
                                                            halibut mortality,
                                                            red king crab Zone
                                                            1, C. opilio COBLZ,
                                                            C. bairdi Zone 1 and
                                                            2.
                                    BSAI trawl limited     Turbot/arrowtooth/                  0               0
                                     access.                sablefish--halibut
                                                            mortality, red king
                                                            crab Zone 1, C.
                                                            opilio COBLZ, C.
                                                            bairdi Zone 1 and 2.
                                                           Rockfish--red king                  0               0
                                                            crab Zone 1.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Maximum retainable amounts may be found in Table 11 to 50 CFR part 679.
\2\ ``Other rockfish'' includes all Sebastes and Sebastolobus species except for Pacific ocean perch, northern
  rockfish, dark rockfish, shortraker rockfish, and rougheye rockfish.


[[Page 12123]]

    Closures implemented under the final 2013 and 2014 BSAI harvest 
specifications for groundfish (78 FR 13813, March 1, 2013) remain 
effective under authority of these final 2014 and 2015 harvest 
specifications, and are posted at the following Web sites:

http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/cm/info_bulletins/ and
http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries_reports/reports/.

    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 pollock 
directed 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 17 lists the 2014 and 2015 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 17. However, groundfish sideboard species 
that are delivered to listed AFA C/Ps by CVs will not be deducted from 
the 2014 and 2015 sideboard limits for the listed AFA C/Ps.

                     Table 17--Final 2014 and 2015 Listed BSAI American Fisheries Act Catcher/Processor Groundfish Sideboard Limits
                                                              [Amounts are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             1995-1997
                                                              ---------------------------------------  2014 ITAC                 2015 ITAC
                                                                                           Ratio of    available   2014 AFA C/   available   2015 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      Ps1      board limit
                                                                                         total catch
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish trawl.....................  BS.....................            8          497        0.016          569            9          514            8
                                      AI.....................            0          145            0          385            0          348            0
Atka mackerel.......................  Central AI A season \2\          n/a          n/a        0.115        4,318          497        4,341          499
                                      Central AI B season \2\          n/a          n/a        0.115        4,318          497        4,341          499
                                      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       75,905        2,808       75,905        2,808
Greenland turbot....................  BS.....................          121       17,305        0.007        1,410           10        2,106           15
                                      AI.....................           23        4,987        0.005          395            2          591            3
Arrowtooth flounder.................  BSAI...................           76       33,987        0.002       21,250           43       21,250           43
Kamchatka flounder..................  BSAI...................           76       33,987        0.002        6,035           12        6,205           12
Flathead sole.......................  BSAI...................        1,925       52,755        0.036       21,879          788       22,440          808
Alaska plaice.......................  BSAI...................           14        9,438        0.001       20,825           21       21,250           21
Other flatfish......................  BSAI...................        3,058       52,298        0.058        2,253          131        2,550          148
Pacific ocean perch.................  BS.....................           12        4,879        0.002        6,531           13        6,239           12
                                      Eastern AI.............          125        6,179         0.02        8,257          165        7,888          158
                                      Central AI.............            3        5,698        0.001        5,888            6        5,625            6
                                      Western AI.............           54       13,598        0.004        8,571           34        8,188           33
Northern rockfish...................  BSAI...................           91       13,040        0.007        2,205           15        2,550           18
Shortraker rockfish.................  BSAI...................           50        2,811        0.018          370            7          370            7
Rougheye rockfish...................  EBS/EAI................           50        2,811        0.018          177            3          201            4
                                      CAI/WAI................           50        2,811        0.018          239            4          277            5
Other rockfish......................  BS.....................           18          621        0.029          300            9          400           12
                                      AI.....................           22          806        0.027          473           13          473           13
Skates..............................  BSAI...................          553       68,672        0.008       22,100          177       22,100          177
Sculpins............................  BSAI...................          553       68,672        0.008        4,888           39        4,888           39
Sharks..............................  BSAI...................          553       68,672        0.008          125            1          125            1
Squids..............................  BSAI...................           73        3,328        0.022          264            6          276            6
Octopuses...........................  BSAI...................          553       68,672        0.008          225            2          225            2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, and BSAI Atka mackerel, flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole are multiplied by the remainder of the
  TAC after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under Sec.   679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C).
\2\ The seasonal apportionment of Atka mackerel in the open access fishery is 50 percent in the A season and 50 percent in the B season. Listed AFA
  catcher/processors are limited to harvesting no more than zero in the Eastern Aleutian District and Bering Sea subarea, 20 percent of the annual ITAC
  specified for the Western Aleutian District, and 11.5 percent of the annual ITAC specified for the Central Aleutian District.

    Section 679.64(a)(2) and Tables 40 and 41 of part 679 establish a 
formula for calculating PSC sideboard limits for listed AFA C/Ps. The 
basis for these sideboard limits is described in detail in the final 
rules implementing the major provisions of the AFA (67 FR 79692, 
December 30, 2002) and Amendment 80 (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007), 
and in the proposed rule (77 FR 72791, December 6, 2012).

[[Page 12124]]

    PSC species listed in Table 18 that are caught by listed AFA C/Ps 
participating in any groundfish fishery other than pollock will accrue 
against the 2014 and 2015 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 2014 or 2015 
PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 18 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 18--Final 2014 and 2015 BSAI AFA Listed Catcher/Processor Prohibited Species Sideboard Limits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   2014 and 2015
                                                                                   PSC available   2014 and 2015
                                                                   Ratio of PSC      to trawl        catcher/
                    PSC species and area \1\                      catch to total   vessels after     processor
                                                                        PSC       subtraction of     sideboard
                                                                                      PSQ \2\        limit \2\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halibut mortality BSAI..........................................         n/a                 n/a             286
Red king crab zone 1............................................           0.007          86,621             606
C. opilio (COBLZ)...............................................           0.153       9,989,002       1,528,317
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 pollock 
directed 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 19 and 
20 list the 2014 and 2015 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 2014 and 2015 sideboard limits listed in Table 19.

      Table 19--Final 2014 and 2015 American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel BSAI Groundfish Sideboard Limits
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Ratio of
                                                  1995-1997                  2014 AFA                  2015 AFA
                               Fishery by area/     AFA CV        2014       catcher        2015       catcher
         Species/gear               season         catch to   initial TAC     vessel    initial TAC     vessel
                                                  1995-1997       \1\       sideboard       \1\       sideboard
                                                     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         0.0006          206            0          209            0
 [gteqt] 60 feet LOA.           10.
                               BSAI Jun 10-Dec        0.0006          198            0          201            0
                                31.
Pacific cod pot gear CV        BSAI Jan 1-Jun         0.0006        8,638            5        8,786            5
 [gteqt] 60 feet LOA.           10.
                               BSAI Sept 1-Dec        0.0006        8,300            5        8,441            5
                                31.
Pacific cod CV < 60 feet LOA   BSAI............       0.0006        4,033            2        4,102            2
 using hook-and-line or pot
 gear.
Pacific cod trawl gear CV....  BSAI Jan 20-Apr        0.8609       37,079       31,921       37,708       32,463
                                1.
                               BSAI Apr 1-Jun         0.8609        5,512        4,745        5,605        4,825
                                10.
                               BSAI Jun 10-Nov        0.8609        7,516        6,471        7,643        6,580
                                1.
Sablefish trawl gear.........  BS..............       0.0906          569           52          514           47
                               AI..............       0.0645          385           25          348           22
Atka mackerel................  Eastern AI/BS          0.0032        9,668           31        9,720           31
                                Jan 1-Jun 10.
                               Eastern AI/BS          0.0032        9,668           31        9,720           31
                                Jun 10-Nov 1.
                               Central AI Jan 1-      0.0001        4,318            0        4,341            0
                                Jun 10.
                               Central AI Jun         0.0001        4,318            0        4,341            0
                                10-Nov 1.
                               Western AI Jan 1-           0          447            0          447            0
                                Jun 10.
                               Western AI Jun              0          447            0          447            0
                                10-Nov 1.
Rock sole....................  BSAI............       0.0341       75,905        2,588       75,905        2,588
Greenland turbot.............  BS..............       0.0645        1,410           91        2,106          136
                               AI..............       0.0205          395            8          591           12
Arrowtooth flounder..........  BSAI............        0.069       21,250        1,466       21,250        1,466
Kamchatka flounder...........  BSAI............        0.069        6,035          416        6,205          428
Alaska plaice................  BSAI............       0.0441       20,825          918       21,250          937
Other flatfish...............  BSAI............       0.0441        2,253           99        2,550          112
Flathead sole................  BS..............       0.0505       21,879        1,105       22,440        1,133

[[Page 12125]]

 
Pacific ocean perch..........  BS..............          0.1        6,531          653        6,239          624
                               Eastern AI......       0.0077        8,257           64        7,888           61
                               Central AI......       0.0025        5,888           15        5,625           14
                               Western AI......            0        8,571            0        8,188            0
Northern rockfish............  BSAI............       0.0084        2,205           19        2,550           21
Shortraker rockfish..........  BSAI............       0.0037          370            1          370            1
Rougheye rockfish............  EBS/EAI.........       0.0037          177            1          201            1
                               CAI/WAI.........       0.0037          239            1          277            1
Other rockfish...............  BS..............       0.0048          300            1          400            2
                               AI..............       0.0095          473            4          473            4
Skates.......................  BSAI............       0.0541       22,100        1,196       22,100        1,196
Sculpins.....................  BSAI............       0.0541        4,888          264        4,888          264
Sharks.......................  BSAI............       0.0541          125            7          125            7
Squids.......................  BSAI............       0.3827          264          101          276          106
Octopuses....................  BSAI............       0.0541          225           12          225           12
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 20 that are caught by 
AFA CVs participating in any groundfish fishery for groundfish other 
than pollock will accrue against the 2014 and 2015 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 2014 or 2015 PSC sideboard limit listed in Table 20 is 
reached. The PSC that is caught by AFA CVs while fishing for pollock in 
the BSAI will accrue against the bycatch allowances annually specified 
for either the midwater pollock or the pollock/Atka mackerel/``other 
species'' fishery categories under regulations at Sec.  
679.21(e)(3)(iv).

  Table 20--Final 2014 and 2015 American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel Prohibited Species Catch Sideboard Limits
                                                 for the BSAI\1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                          2014 and
                                                                                          2015 PSC     2014 and
                                                                           AFA catcher  limit after    2015 AFA
         PSC species and area \1\            Target fishery category \2\    vessel PSC  subtraction    catcher
                                                                            sideboard      of PSQ     vessel PSC
                                                                           limit ratio    reserves    sideboard
                                                                                            \3\       limit \3\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halibut...................................  Pacific cod trawl............          n/a          n/a          887
                                            Pacific cod hook-and-line or           n/a          n/a            2
                                             pot.
                                            Yellowfin sole total.........          n/a          n/a          101
                                            Rock sole/flathead sole/other          n/a          n/a          228
                                             flatfish \4\.
                                            Greenland turbot/arrowtooth/           n/a          n/a            0
                                             sablefish \5\.
                                            Rockfish.....................          n/a          n/a            2
                                            Pollock/Atka mackerel/other            n/a          n/a            5
                                             species \6\.
Red king crab Zone 1......................  n/a..........................        0.299       86,621       25,900
C. opilio COBLZ...........................  n/a..........................        0.168    9,989,002    1,678,152
C. bairdi Zone 1..........................  n/a..........................         0.33      875,140      288,796
C. bairdi Zone 2..........................  n/a..........................        0.186    2,652,210      493,311
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Refer to Sec.   679.2 for definitions of areas.
\2\ Target fishery categories are defined in regulation at Sec.   679.21(e)(3)(iv).
\3\ Halibut amounts are in metric tons of halibut mortality. Crab amounts are in numbers of animals.
\4\ ``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.
\5\ Arrowtooth for PSC monitoring includes Kamchatka flounder.
\6\ ``Other species'' for PSC monitoring includes skates, sculpins, sharks, squids, and octopuses.


[[Page 12126]]

AFA Catcher/Processor and Catcher Vessel Sideboard Directed Fishing 
Closures

    Based on historical catch patterns, the Regional Administrator has 
determined that many of the AFA C/P and CV sideboard limits listed in 
Tables 21 and 22 are necessary as incidental catch to support other 
anticipated groundfish fisheries for the 2014 and 2015 fishing years. 
In accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iv), the Regional Administrator 
establishes the sideboard limits listed in Tables 21 and 22 as DFAs. 
Because many of these DFAs will be reached before the end of 2014, 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 21, 
and directed fishing by non-exempt AFA CVs for the species in the 
specified areas set out in Table 22.

    Table 21--Final 2014 and 2015 American Fisheries Act Listed Catcher/Processor Sideboard Directed Fishing
                                                  Closures \1\
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                            2014         2015
               Species                          Area                  Gear types         sideboard    sideboard
                                                                                           limit        limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sablefish trawl.....................  BS.....................  trawl..................            9            8
                                      AI.....................  trawl..................            0            0
Rock sole...........................  BSAI...................  all....................        2,808        2,808
Greenland turbot....................  BS.....................  all....................           10           15
                                      AI.....................  all....................            2            3
Arrowtooth flounder.................  BSAI...................  all....................           43           43
Kamchatka flounder..................  BSAI...................  all....................           12           12
Alaska plaice.......................  BSAI...................  all....................           21           21
Other flatfish \2\..................  BSAI...................  all....................          131          148
Flathead sole.......................  BSAI...................  all....................          788          808
Pacific ocean perch.................  BS.....................  all....................           13           12
                                      Eastern AI.............  all....................          165          158
                                      Central AI.............  all....................            6            6
                                      Western AI.............  all....................           34           33
Northern rockfish...................  BSAI...................  all....................           15           18
Shortraker rockfish.................  BSAI...................  all....................            7            7
Rougheye rockfish...................  EBS/EAI................  all....................            3            3
                                      CAI/WAI................  all....................            4            5
Other rockfish \3\..................  BS.....................  all....................            9           12
                                      AI.....................  all....................           13           13
Skates..............................  BSAI...................  all....................          177          177
Sculpins............................  BSAI...................  all....................           39           39
Sharks..............................  BSAI...................  all....................            1            1
Squids..............................  BSAI...................  all....................            6            6
Octopuses...........................  BSAI...................  all....................            2            2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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, Alaska plaice, 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
  rockfish, dark rockfish, shortraker rockfish, and rougheye rockfish.


   Table 22--Final 2014 and 2015 American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel Sideboard Directed Fishing Closures \1\
                                          [Amounts are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  2014 sideboard  2015 sideboard
              Species                        Area                Gear types            limit           limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod.......................  BSAI.................  hook-and-line CV                    0               0
                                                            [gteqt] 60 feet LOA.
                                    BSAI.................  pot CV [gteqt] 60                  10              10
                                                            feet LOA.
                                    BSAI.................  hook-and-line or pot                2               2
                                                            CV< 60 feet LOA.
                                    BSAI.................  jig..................               0               0
Sablefish.........................  BS...................  trawl................              52              47
                                    AI...................  trawl................              25              22
Atka mackerel.....................  Eastern AI/BS........  all..................              62              62
                                    Central AI...........  all..................               0               0
                                    Western AI...........  all..................               0               0
Greenland turbot..................  BS...................  all..................              91             136
                                    AI...................  all..................               8              12
Arrowtooth flounder...............  BSAI.................  all..................           1,466           1,466
Kamchatka flounder................  BSAI.................  all..................             416             428
Alaska plaice.....................  BSAI.................  all..................             918             937
Other flatfish \2\................  BSAI.................  all..................              99             112
Flathead sole.....................  BSAI.................  all..................           1,105           1,133
Rock sole.........................  BSAI.................  all..................           2,588           2,588
Pacific ocean perch...............  BS...................  all..................             653             624

[[Page 12127]]

 
                                    Eastern AI...........  all..................              64              61
                                    Central AI...........  all..................              15              14
                                    Western AI...........  all..................               0               0
Northern rockfish.................  BSAI.................  all..................              19              21
Shortraker rockfish...............  BSAI.................  all..................               1               1
Rougheye rockfish.................  BS/EAI...............  all..................               1               1
                                    CAI/WAI..............  all..................               1               1
Other rockfish \3\................  BS...................  all..................               1               2
                                    AI...................  all..................               4               4
Skates............................  BSAI.................  all..................           1,196           1,196
Sculpins..........................  BSAI.................  all..................             264             264
Sharks............................  BSAI.................  all..................               7               7
Squids............................  BSAI.................  all..................             101             106
Octopuses.........................  BSAI.................  all..................              12              12
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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, Alaska plaice, 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
  rockfish, dark rockfish, shortraker rockfish, and rougheye rockfish.

Response to Comments

    NMFS received one letter with one comment.
    Comment: The harvest of all groundfish quotas in the BSAI should be 
cut by 50 percent.
    Response: Pursuant to National Standard One of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act, NMFS must achieve, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield from 
each fishery for the U.S. fishing industry. The optimum yield for the 
BSAI groundfish fisheries ranges from 1.4 million mt to two million mt. 
Based on the best available science, the Council determined that the 
optimum yield for 2014 and 2015 is two million metric tons, and 
recommended TACs to achieve this optimum yield. NMFS agrees with this 
recommendation. Reducing the harvest of all groundfish by 50 percent 
would not achieve optimum yield for the BSAI groundfish fisheries, and 
would not comply with National Standard One.

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 that covers 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 2014, NMFS prepared a Supplemental Information Report 
(SIR) for this action. Copies of the EIS, ROD, and SIR for this action 
are available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). The EIS analyzes the 
environmental consequences of the groundfish harvest specifications and 
alternative harvest strategies on resources in the action area. The EIS 
found no significant environmental consequences of this action and its 
alternatives. The SIR evaluates the need to prepare a Supplemental EIS 
(SEIS) for the 2014 and 2015 groundfish harvest specifications.
    An 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 2014 and 2015 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 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications will result in 
environmental impacts within the scope of those analyzed and disclosed 
in the EIS. Therefore, supplemental National Environmental Policy Act 
documentation is not necessary to implement the 2014 and 2015 harvest 
specifications.
    Pursuant to section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 
U.S.C. 601, et seq., a FRFA was prepared for this action. The FRFA 
incorporates the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), and 
includes a summary of the significant issues raised by public comments 
in response to the IRFA, as well as NMFS' responses to those comments. 
A summary of the analyses completed to support the action is also 
included in the FRFA.
    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 10, 2013 (78 FR 
74063). The rule was accompanied by an IRFA, which was summarized in 
the proposed rule. The comment period closed on January 9, 2014. No 
comments were received on the IRFA.
    The entities directly regulated by this action are those that 
receive allocations of groundfish in the exclusive economic zone 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, AFA C/P and inshore CV 
sectors, Aleut Corporation, and

[[Page 12128]]

Amendment 80 cooperatives. These entities are, therefore, also 
considered directly regulated.
    According to the Small Business Administration, a small entity 
engaged in fishing activities is one that is not dominant in its field, 
and individually has annual revenues of $19 million or less. In 2012, 
there were 428 individual catcher vessels with total gross revenues 
less than or equal to $19 million. Many of these vessels are members in 
AFA inshore pollock cooperatives. However, 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 112 small CVs remaining in the 
BSAI.
    In 2012, 45 C/Ps grossed less than $19 million. Some of these 
vessels were affiliated through ownership by the same business firm. By 
2012, 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 (FLCC)). Applying the 2012 
firm and cooperative affiliations to these vessels, NMFS estimates that 
these 45 vessels currently represent seven small entities.
    Through the CDQ program, the Council and NMFS allocate a portion of 
the BSAI groundfish TACs, and 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 that are independently owned and operated, and are not 
dominant in their field, 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 FLCC, a voluntary private 
cooperative that became fully effective in 2010, is not considered to 
be directly regulated. The FLCC manages a catch share program among its 
members, but it does not 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 of more than 
$19 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 Small Business 
Administration criteria for Office or Other Holding Companies, at 13 
CFR 121.201, which uses a threshold of $7 million gross annual receipts 
threshold for small entities. The Aleut Corporation revenues 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.
    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 (Alternative 2) in December 2006. These included the 
following:
     Alternative 1: Set TAC to produce fishing mortality rates, 
F, that are equal to maxFABC, unless the sum of the TAC is constrained 
by the OY established in the FMPs. This is equivalent to setting TAC to 
produce harvest levels equal to the maximum permissible ABC, 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, TAC would be set to produce harvest levels equal to the 
most recent 5-year average actual fishing mortality rates. For stocks 
with insufficient scientific information, TAC would be set equal to the 
most recent 5-year average actual catch. This alternative recognizes 
that for some stocks, catches may fall well below ABC, and recent 
average F may provide a better indicator of actual F than FABC does.
     Alternative 4: (1) Set TAC for rockfish species in Tier 3 
at F75%. Set TAC for rockfish species in Tier 5 at F=0.5M. Set 
spatially explicit TAC for shortraker and rougheye rockfish in the 
BSAI. (2) Taking the rockfish TAC as calculated above, reduce all other 
TAC by a proportion that does not vary across species, so that the sum 
of all TAC, including rockfish TAC, is equal to the lower bound of the 
area OY (1,400,000 mt in the BSAI). This alternative sets conservative 
and spatially explicit TAC for rockfish species that are long-lived and 
late to mature, and sets conservative TAC for the other groundfish 
species.
     Alternative 5: Set TAC at zero.
    Alternative 2 is the preferred alternative chosen by the Council:
    Set TAC that fall within the range of ABC 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 TAC that has been used in the past.
    Alternatives 1, 3, 4, and 5 do not 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 of 
Commerce did so in 2007. Alternative 1 would lead to TAC limits 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 2014 and 2015 would be 2,572,819 
and 2,472,832 million mt, respectively. Both of these are substantially 
in excess of the fishery OY for the BSAI. This result 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 million mt maximum harvest for BSAI groundfish.
    Alternative 3 selects harvest rates based on the most recent 5 
years' worth of harvest rates (for species in Tiers 1 through 3) or for 
the most recent 5 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 into account the most recent 
biological information for this fishery.
    Alternative 4 would lead to significantly lower harvests of all 
species to reduce TAC from the upper end of the OY range in the BSAI, 
to its lower end. This result 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 NMFS has no

[[Page 12129]]

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).
    In December 2013, the Council adopted separate Pacific cod harvest 
specifications for the Aleutian Islands and the Bering Sea in the 2014 
and 2015 fishing years. The intent is that this will be a permanent 
split in the harvest specifications for Pacific cod. While separate 
OFLs, ABCs, and TACs, have been created for the Aleutian Islands and 
for the Bering Sea, the actual sector allocations (except CDQ 
allocations) remain BSAI-wide allocations. Sector allocations are 
calculated as a percent of the summed Aleutian Island and Bering Sea 
TACs, after adjustments are made to account for CDQ allocations. 
Because sector allocations (except CDQ allocations) continue to be 
defined BSAI-wide, sectors remain free to redeploy between the two 
areas. However, if the non-CDQ portion of the TAC in either sub-area is 
reached NMFS will close directed fishing for Pacific cod in that 
subarea. Thus if the resources in one of the areas is fully utilized, 
one sector will not be able to increase its harvest, unless at the 
expense of another sector's harvest.
    It is possible that in some years that an Aleutian Island-specific 
Pacific cod TAC, in combination with a deduction from the ABC for a GHL 
fishery, and a deduction for an ICA, may leave the Aleutian Islands TAC 
too small to permit a directed fishery. The ultimate impact of the 
Pacific cod split will depend on policy decisions made by the Council 
and the Secretary. In the 10 years since the first year of the baseline 
period for this analysis (2004), the BSAI Pacific cod TAC was only set 
equal to the ABC in two years. There may be flexibility for the Council 
to offset anticipated Aleutian Island production limits by setting the 
Aleutian Islands TAC less than the ABC, and the Bering Sea TAC equal to 
the ABC. The 2 million metric ton groundfish optimum yield is the sum 
of the BSAI TACs, so a decrease in the Aleutian Islands TAC, coupled 
with an equal increase in the Bering sea TAC, would leave the aggregate 
BSAI Pacific cod TAC unchanged, and would not require reductions in 
TACs for other species so as to comply with the 2 million metric ton 
optimum yield limit.
    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 2013, and 
Council consideration and recommendations occurred in December 2013. 
Accordingly, NMFS review could not begin until after the December 2013 
Council meeting, and after the public had time to comment upon the 
proposed action. If implemented immediately, this rule would allow 
these fisheries to continue fishing without the uncertainty of a 
potential closure, because the new TAC limits are higher than the ones 
under which they are currently fishing. If this rule's effectiveness is 
delayed, fisheries that might otherwise remain open under these rules 
may prematurely close based on the lower TACs established in the final 
2013 and 2014 harvest specifications (78 FR 13813, March 1, 2013). 
Certain fisheries, such as those for pollock and Pacific cod are 
intensive, fast-paced fisheries. Other fisheries, such as those for 
flatfish, rockfish, skates, sculpins, sharks, and octopuses, are 
critical as directed fisheries and as incidental catch in other 
fisheries. U.S. fishing vessels have demonstrated the capacity to catch 
the TAC allocations in these fisheries. Any delay in allocating the 
final TAC limits 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 to 
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 sectors without sideboard limits. Moreover, the new TAC and 
sideboard limits protect the fisheries from being overfished. Thus, the 
delay is contrary to the public interest in protecting traditional 
fisheries and fish stocks.
    If the final harvest specifications are not effective by March 8, 
2014, which is the start of the 2014 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 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications will 
allow the sablefish IFQ fishery to begin concurrently with the Pacific 
halibut IFQ season. Also, 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 that have lower 2014 ABC and TAC 
limits than those established in the 2013 and 2014 harvest 
specifications (78 FR 13813, March 1, 2013). 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 2014 and 2015 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 2014 and 2015 
fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the FMP. 
This action directly 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 12130]]


    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.

Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-04762 Filed 3-3-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P