[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 44 (Thursday, March 6, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 12889-12921]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-04886]



[[Page 12889]]

Vol. 79

Thursday,

No. 44

March 6, 2014

Part VI





Department of Commerce





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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration





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50 CFR Part 679





Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; 
Final 2014 and 2015 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 44 / Thursday, March 6, 2014 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 12890]]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 130925836-4174-02]
RIN 0648-XC895


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of 
Alaska; Final 2014 and 2015 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish

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

ACTION: Final rule; harvest specifications and closures.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications, 
apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for 
the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is 
necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2014 
and 2015 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of 
the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the GOA. The intended 
effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish 
resources in the GOA in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act.

DATES: Harvest specifications and closures effective at 1200 hrs, 
Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 6, 2014, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., 
December 31, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the Final Alaska Groundfish Harvest 
Specifications Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Record of Decision 
(ROD), Supplementary Information Report (SIR) to the EIS, and the Final 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) prepared for this action are 
available from http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. The final 2013 Stock 
Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report for the groundfish 
resources of the GOA, dated November 2013, is available from the North 
Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) at 605 West 4th Avenue, 
Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99510-2252, phone 907-271-2809, or from the 
Council's Web site at http://www.npfmc.org.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the GOA groundfish fisheries in 
the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the GOA under the Fishery 
Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). The Council 
prepared the FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 
et seq. Regulations governing U.S. fisheries and implementing the FMP 
appear at 50 CFR parts 600, 679, and 680.
    The FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS, after 
consultation with the Council, to specify the total allowable catch 
(TAC) for each target species, the sum of which must be within the 
optimum yield (OY) range of 116,000 to 800,000 metric tons (mt). 
Section 679.20(c)(1) further requires NMFS to publish and solicit 
public comment on proposed annual TACs, Pacific halibut prohibited 
species catch (PSC) limits, and seasonal allowances of pollock and 
Pacific cod. Upon consideration of public comment received under Sec.  
679.20(c)(1), NMFS must publish notice of final harvest specifications 
for up to two fishing years as annual target TAC, per Sec.  
679.20(c)(3)(ii). The final harvest specifications set forth in Tables 
1 through 36 of this document reflect the outcome of this process, as 
required at Sec.  679.20(c).
    The proposed 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications for groundfish of 
the GOA and Pacific halibut PSC limits were published in the Federal 
Register on December 10, 2013 (78 FR 74079). Comments were invited and 
accepted through January 9, 2014. NMFS did not receive any comments on 
the proposed harvest specifications. In December 2013, NMFS consulted 
with the Council regarding the 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications. 
After considering public testimony, as well as biological and economic 
data that were available at the Council's December 2013 meeting, NMFS 
is implementing the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications, as 
recommended by the Council. For 2014, the sum of the TAC amounts is 
499,274 mt. For 2015, the sum of the TAC amounts is 511,599 mt.

Other Actions Affecting the 2014 and 2015 Harvest Specifications

Combining Central and Western GOA Other Rockfish Acceptable Biological 
Catches (ABCs) and TACs

    At its November 2013 meeting, the Council's GOA Groundfish Plan 
Team (Plan Team) recommended combining the Western and Central GOA 
``other rockfish'' ABCs and TACs. The ``other rockfish'' category in 
these areas include ``other rockfish'' (19 species) and demersal shelf 
rockfish (7 species). The Plan Team recommended combining these ABCs 
and TACs based on the challenges associated with conducting a 
comprehensive assessment of all of the species in the ``other 
rockfish'' category in the Western and Central GOA. At the December 
2013 Council meeting, the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) 
and Council also recommended combining these ABCs and TACs as 
recommended by the Plan Team. NMFS does not anticipate any adverse 
management or conservation effects as a result of combing the Western 
and Central ``other rockfish'' ABCs and TACs. Directed fishing for 
``other rockfish'' would continue to be prohibited in the Western and 
Central GOA.

Amendment 97: Chinook Salmon Prohibited Species Catch Limits in the 
Non-Pollock Trawl Groundfish Fisheries

    In June 2013, the Council took action to recommend Amendment 97 to 
the FMP, as well as accompanying regulations. If approved by the 
Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), Amendment 97 would implement 
measures to control Chinook salmon PSC in all non-pollock trawl 
groundfish fisheries in the Western and Central GOA. The pollock 
directed fishery is not included in the Council's recommended action, 
as that fishery is already subject to Chinook PSC limits (Sec.  
679.21(h)). The Council's preferred alternative would set an initial 
annual limit of 7,500 Chinook salmon apportioned among the sectors of 
catcher/processors, catcher vessels active in the Rockfish Program, and 
non-Rockfish Program catcher vessels. A sector would be prohibited from 
directed fishing for groundfish if it caught its apportioned amount of 
the total Chinook PSC limit. NMFS currently is developing proposed 
rulemaking for this Chinook PSC action. If approved by the Secretary, 
the earliest these Chinook salmon PSC limits could be implemented would 
be 2015.

Increase to the Western GOA Guideline Harvest Level (GHL) for Pacific 
Cod

    The State of Alaska (State) manages separate Pacific cod fisheries 
in the GOA. The State's GHL fisheries are conducted independently of 
the Federal groundfish fisheries under direct regulation of the State. 
GHLs are derived from the Pacific cod ABC for each GOA management area, 
and the TAC for each area is the amount available after the annual GHL 
percentage has been deducted from the ABC. In October 2013, the Alaska 
Board of Fisheries, a regulatory body for the State's Department of 
Fish and Game, reviewed

[[Page 12891]]

various proposals to increase the GHL for the State's Pacific cod GHL 
fisheries. The Board of Fisheries adopted a proposal to increase the 
GHL in the South Alaska Peninsula area to 30 percent from 25 percent of 
the annual Pacific cod ABC. This decreases the final Western GOA 
Pacific cod TAC for 2014, reducing it to 22,922 mt from 24,559 mt.

Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) and TAC Specifications

    In December 2013, the Council, its Advisory Panel (AP), and its SSC 
reviewed the most recent biological and harvest information about the 
condition of groundfish stocks in the GOA. This information was 
compiled by the Council's GOA Groundfish Plan Team and was presented in 
the draft 2013 SAFE report for the GOA 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 GOA ecosystem and the economic condition of the 
groundfish fisheries off Alaska. From these data and analyses, the Plan 
Team estimates an overfishing level (OFL) and ABC for each species or 
species group. The 2013 SAFE report was made available for public 
review during the public comment period for the proposed harvest 
specifications.
    In previous years, the largest changes from the proposed to the 
final harvest specifications have been based on recent NMFS stock 
surveys, which provide updated estimates of stock biomass and spatial 
distribution, and changes to the models used for producing stock 
assessments. At the November 2013 Plan Team meeting, NMFS scientists 
presented updated and new survey results, changes to stock assessment 
models, and accompanying stock assessment estimates for all groundfish 
species and species groups that are included in the final 2013 SAFE 
report. The SSC reviewed this information at the December 2013 Council 
meeting. Changes from the proposed to the final harvest specifications 
in 2014 and 2015 for newly assessed groundfish stocks are discussed 
below.
    The final 2014 and 2015 OFLs, ABCs, and TACs are based on the best 
available biological and socioeconomic information, including projected 
biomass trends, information on assumed distribution of stock biomass, 
and revised methods used to calculate stock biomass. The FMP specifies 
the formulas, or tiers, to be used to compute OFLs and ABCs. The 
formulas applicable to a particular stock or stock complex are 
determined by the level of reliable information available to fisheries 
scientists. This information is categorized into a successive series of 
six tiers to define OFL and ABC amounts, with Tier 1 representing the 
highest level of information quality available and Tier 6 representing 
the lowest level of information quality available. The Plan Team used 
the FMP tier structure to calculate OFL and ABC amounts for each 
groundfish species. The SSC adopted the final 2014 and 2015 OFLs and 
ABCs recommended by the Plan Team for all groundfish species. The 
Council adopted the SSC's OFL and ABC recommendations and the AP's TAC 
recommendations. The final TAC recommendations were based on the ABCs 
as adjusted for other biological and socioeconomic considerations, 
including maintaining the sum of all TACs within the required OY range 
of 116,000 to 800,000 mt.
    The Council recommended 2014 and 2015 TACs that are equal to ABCs 
for pollock, sablefish, deep-water flatfish, rex sole, Pacific ocean 
perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, dusky rockfish, rougheye 
rockfish, demersal shelf rockfish, thornyhead rockfish, ``other 
rockfish,'' big skates, longnose skates, other skates, sculpins, 
sharks, squids, and octopuses in the GOA. The Council recommended TACs 
for 2014 and 2015 that are less than the ABCs for Pacific cod, shallow-
water flatfish in the Western GOA, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole 
in the Western and Central GOA, ``other rockfish'' in the Southeast 
Outside district, and Atka mackerel. The Pacific cod TACs are set to 
accommodate the State's GHLs for Pacific cod so that the ABCs are not 
exceeded. The shallow-water flatfish, arrowtooth flounder, and flathead 
sole TACs are set to allow for increased harvest opportunities for 
these target species while conserving the halibut PSC limit for use in 
other, more fully utilized fisheries. The ``other rockfish'' TAC in the 
Southeast Outside District (SEO) is set to reduce the amount of 
discards. The Atka mackerel TAC is set to accommodate incidental catch 
amounts in other fisheries.
    The final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications approved by the 
Secretary are unchanged from those recommended by the Council and are 
consistent with the preferred harvest strategy alternative in the EIS 
(see ADDRESSES). NMFS finds that the Council's recommended OFLs, ABCs, 
and TACs are consistent with the biological condition of the groundfish 
stocks as described in the final 2013 SAFE report. NMFS also finds that 
the Council's recommendations for OFLs, ABCs, and TACs are consistent 
with the biological condition of groundfish stocks as adjusted for 
other biological and socioeconomic considerations, including 
maintaining the total TAC within the OY range. NMFS reviewed the 
Council's recommended TAC specifications and apportionments, and 
approves these harvest specifications under 50 CFR 679.20(c)(3)(ii). 
The apportionment of TAC amounts among gear types and sectors, 
processing sectors, and seasons is discussed below.
    Tables 1 and 2 list the final 2014 and 2015 OFLs, ABCs, TACs, and 
area apportionments of groundfish in the GOA. The sums of the 2014 and 
2015 ABCs are 640,675 mt and 644,165 mt, respectively, which are higher 
in 2014 and 2015 than the 2013 ABC sum of 595,920 mt (78 FR 13162, 
February 26, 2013).

Specification and Apportionment of TAC Amounts

    The ABC for the pollock stock in the combined Western, Central, and 
West Yakutat Regulatory Areas (W/C/WYK) has been adjusted to reflect 
the GHL established by the State for the Prince William Sound (PWS) 
pollock fishery since its inception in 1995. Based on genetic studies, 
fisheries scientists believe that the pollock in PWS is not a separate 
stock from the combined W/C/WYK population. Since 1996, the Plan Team 
has had a protocol of recommending that the GHL amount be deducted from 
the GOA-wide ABC. Accordingly, the Council recommended decreasing the 
W/C/WYK pollock ABC to account for the State's PWS GHL. At the November 
2013 Plan Team meeting, State fisheries managers recommended setting 
the PWS GHL at 2.5 percent of the annual W/C/WYK pollock ABC. For 2014, 
this yields a PWS pollock GHL of 4,163 mt, an increase of 1,336 mt from 
the 2013 PWS GHL of 2,827 mt. For 2015, the PWS pollock GHL is 4,646 
mt, an increase of 1,819 mt from the 2013 PWS pollock GHL.
    NMFS' apportionment of groundfish species is based on the 
distribution of biomass among the regulatory areas over which NMFS 
manages the species. Additional regulations govern the apportionment of 
Pacific cod, pollock, and sablefish. Additional detail on the 
apportionment of Pacific cod, pollock, and sablefish are described 
below, and briefly summarized here.
    The AP, SSC and Council recommended apportionment of the ABC for 
Pacific cod in the GOA among regulatory areas based on the three most 
recent NMFS summer trawl surveys. The 2014 and 2015 Pacific cod TACs 
are

[[Page 12892]]

set to accommodate the State's GHL for Pacific cod in State waters in 
the Central and Western Regulatory Areas, as well as in PWS. The Plan 
Team, SSC, AP, and Council recommended that the sum of all State and 
Federal water Pacific cod removals from the GOA not exceed ABC 
recommendations. Accordingly, the Council set the 2014 and 2015 Pacific 
cod TACs in the Eastern, Central, and Western Regulatory Areas to 
account for State GHLs. Therefore, the 2014 Pacific cod TACs are less 
than the ABCs by the following amounts: (1) Eastern GOA, 664 mt; (2) 
Central GOA, 13,275 mt; and (3) Western GOA, 9,824 mt. The 2015 Pacific 
cod TACs are less than the ABCs by the following amounts: (1) Eastern 
GOA, 631 mt; (2) Central GOA, 12,615 mt; and (3) Western GOA, 9,335 mt. 
These amounts reflect the sum of the State's 2014 and 2015 GHLs in 
these areas, which are 25 percent of the Eastern and Central, and 30 
percent of the Western GOA ABCs.
    NMFS establishes seasonal apportionments of the annual Pacific cod 
TAC in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas. Sixty percent of the 
annual TAC is apportioned to the A season for hook-and-line, pot, and 
jig gear from January 1 through June 10, and for trawl gear from 
January 20 through June 10. Forty percent of the annual TAC is 
apportioned to the B season for hook-and-line, pot, and jig gear from 
September 1 through December 31, and for trawl gear from September 1 
through November 1 (Sec. Sec.  679.23(d)(3) and 679.20(a)(12)). The 
Central and Western GOA Pacific cod TACs are allocated among various 
gear and operational sectors. The Pacific cod sector apportionments are 
discussed in detail in a subsequent section of this preamble.
    NMFS establishes pollock TACs in the Western, Central, West Yakutat 
Regulatory Areas, and the Southeast Outside District of the GOA (see 
Tables 1 and 2). NMFS also establishes seasonal apportionments of the 
annual pollock TAC in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the 
GOA among Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630. These apportionments are 
divided equally among each of the following four seasons: The A season 
(January 20 through March 10), the B season (March 10 through May 31), 
the C season (August 25 through October 1), and the D season (October 1 
through November 1) (Sec.  679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), and Sec.  
679.20(a)(5)(iv)(A) and (B)). Additional detail is provided below; 
Tables 3 and 4 list these amounts.
    The Council's recommendation for sablefish area apportionments 
takes into account the prohibition on the use of trawl gear in the SEO 
District of the Eastern Regulatory Area and makes available 5 percent 
of the combined Eastern Regulatory Area ABCs to trawl gear for use as 
incidental catch in other groundfish fisheries in the WYK District 
(Sec.  679.20(a)(4)(i)). Tables 7 and 8 list the final 2014 and 2015 
allocations of sablefish TAC to hook-and-line and trawl gear in the 
GOA.
    At its June 2012 meeting, the Council took final action to reduce 
halibut PSC limits in the GOA trawl and hook-and-line groundfish 
fisheries. Amendment 95 to the GOA FMP changed the process for setting 
halibut PSC limits and established halibut PSC limits in Federal 
regulation. These PSC limits will remain in effect until changed by a 
subsequent Council action to amend those regulations. A proposed rule 
associated with those recommendations was published on September 17, 
2013 (78 FR 57106), and the Secretary approved Amendment 95 to the GOA 
FMP on November 27, 2013. The final rule to implement Amendment 95 was 
published on February 20, 2014 (79 FR 9625), and contains a 
comprehensive discussion of the various elements associated with the 
halibut PSC limit reductions.
    Amendment 95 reduced the GOA halibut PSC limit for the groundfish 
trawl gear sector and groundfish catcher vessel (CV) hook-and-line gear 
sector by 15 percent. The reductions will be phased in over 3 years: 7 
percent in 2014, 5 percent in 2015 (to 12 percent), and 3 percent in 
2016 (for a total of 15 percent). The reduction for the catcher/
processor (C/P) hook-and-line gear sector is 7 percent, which is 
implemented in 2014. The Council used 1,973 mt as the baseline for the 
halibut PSC limit reductions. This is based on a deduction of 27 mt 
from the 2,000 mt trawl halibut PSC limit, per halibut PSC limit 
reductions made in conjunction with the implementation of the Central 
Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program in 2011 (76 FR 81248, December 27, 
2011). In addition, Amendment 95 reduced the halibut PSC limit for the 
hook-and-line demersal shelf rockfish fishery in the southeast outside 
district of the GOA to 9 mt from 10 mt. The Council recommended that 
the first year of implementation should occur in 2014 and that all 
reductions should occur by 2016.

Changes From the Proposed 2014 and 2015 Harvest Specifications in the 
GOA

    In October 2013, the Council's recommendations for the proposed 
2014 and 2015 harvest specifications (78 FR 74079, December 10, 2013) 
were based largely on information contained in the final 2012 SAFE 
report for the GOA groundfish fisheries, dated November 2012 (see 
ADDRESSES). The Council proposed that the final OFLs, ABCs, and TACs 
established for the 2014 groundfish fisheries (78 FR 13162, February 
26, 2013) be used for the proposed 2014 and 2015 harvest 
specifications, pending completion and review of the 2013 SAFE report 
at its December 2013 meeting.
    As described previously, the SSC adopted the final 2014 and 2015 
OFLs and ABCs recommended by the Plan Team. The Council adopted the 
SSC's OFL and ABC recommendations and the AP's TAC recommendations for 
2014 and 2015. The final 2014 ABCs are higher than the proposed 2014 
ABCs published in the proposed 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications (78 
FR 74079, December 10, 2013) for pollock, Pacific cod, deep-water 
flatfish, Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, 
``other rockfish,'' dusky rockfish, rougheye rockfish, thornyhead 
rockfish, longnose skate, and octopuses. The final 2014 ABCs are lower 
than the proposed 2014 ABCs for sablefish, shallow-water flatfish, rex 
sole, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, demersal shelf rockfish, big 
skates, other skates, sharks, and sculpins. The final 2015 ABCs are 
higher than the proposed 2015 ABCs pollock, deep-water flatfish, 
Pacific ocean perch, northern rockfish, shortraker rockfish, ``other 
rockfish,'' dusky rockfish, rougheye rockfish, thornyhead rockfish, 
longnose skate, and octopuses. The final 2015 ABCs are lower than the 
proposed 2015 ABCs for Pacific cod, sablefish, shallow-water flatfish, 
rex sole, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, demersal shelf rockfish, 
big skates, other skates, sharks, and sculpins. For the remaining 
target species, Atka mackerel and squids, the Council recommended, and 
the Secretary approved, the final 2014 and 2015 ABCs that are the same 
as the proposed 2014 and 2015 ABCs.
    Additional information explaining the changes between the proposed 
and final ABCs is included in the final 2013 SAFE report, which was not 
available when the Council made its proposed ABC and TAC 
recommendations in October 2013. At that time, the most recent stock 
assessment information was contained in the final 2012 SAFE report. The 
final 2013 SAFE report contains the best and most recent scientific 
information on the condition of the groundfish stocks, as previously 
discussed in this preamble, and is available for review (see 
ADDRESSES). The Council considered the final 2013 SAFE report in 
December 2013 when it made recommendations for the final

[[Page 12893]]

2014 and 2015 harvest specifications. In the GOA, the total final 2014 
TAC amount is 499,274 mt, an increase of 17 percent from the total 
proposed 2014 TAC amount of 427,068 mt. The total final 2015 TAC amount 
is 511,599 mt, an increase of 20 percent from the total proposed 2015 
TAC amount of 427,068 mt. The following table in this preamble 
summarizes the principle reason for the difference between the proposed 
and final TACs.
    Based on changes to the assessment method used by the stock 
assessment scientists, for 2014 and 2015 the greatest TAC increase is 
for deep-water flatfish and the greatest decrease is for flathead sole. 
Based on changes in the estimates of overall biomass, the greatest TAC 
increases are for pollock, Pacific ocean perch, shortraker rougheye, 
dusky rockfish, thornyhead rockfish, other rockfish, and longnose 
skate. Based upon changes in the estimates of biomass by stock 
assessment scientists, the greatest decreases in TACs are for 
sablefish, shallow-water flatfish, and demersal shelf rockfish. For all 
other species and species groups, changes from the proposed to the 
final TACs are within plus or minus five percent of the proposed TACs. 
These TAC changes correspond to associated changes in the ABCs and 
TACs, as recommended by the SSC, AP, and Council.
    Additionally, based upon the Council's recommended changes in 
setting the TACs at amounts below ABCs the greatest decreases in TACs 
are for shallow-water flatfish, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, and 
``other rockfish.'' The Council believed, and NMFS concurs, that 
setting TACs for the three preceding flatfish species equal to ABCs 
would not reflect anticipated harvest levels accurately, as the Council 
and NMFS expect halibut PSC limits to constrain these fisheries in both 
2014 and 2015.
    Detailed information providing the basis for the changes described 
above is contained in the final 2013 SAFE report. The final TACs are 
based on the best scientific information available. These TACs are 
specified in compliance with the harvest strategy described in the 
proposed and final rules for the 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications. 
The changes in TACs between the proposed rule and this final rule are 
compared in the following table.

                                     Comparison of Proposed and Final 2014 and 2015 GOA Total Allowable Catch Limits
                                              [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentage]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        2014 and                 2014 Final                             2015 Final
                                          2015      2014 Final   minus 2014   Percentage  2015  Final   minus 2015   Percentage    Principle reason for
               Species                  proposed       TAC        proposed    difference      TAC        proposed    difference         difference
                                          TAC                       TAC                                    TAC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock.............................      111,530      174,976       63,446           57      193,809       82,279           74  Biomass. \1\
Pacific cod.........................       63,150       64,738        1,588            3       61,519       -1,631           -3  Biomass.
Sablefish...........................       11,731       10,572       -1,159          -10        9,554       -2,177          -19  Biomass.
Shallow-water flatfish..............       36,641       33,679       -2,962           -8       32,027       -4,614          -13  Biomass.
Deep-water flatfish.................        5,126       13,472        8,346          163       13,303        8,177          160  Model. \2\
Rex sole............................        9,242        9,341           99            1        9,155          -87           -1  Biomass.
Arrowtooth flounder.................      103,300      103,300            0            0      103,300            0            0  Biomass.
Flathead sole.......................       30,632       27,746       -2,886           -9       27,726       -2,906           -9  Model.
Pacific ocean perch.................       16,133       19,309        3,176           20       19,764        3,631           23  Biomass.
Northern rockfish...................        4,850        5,322          472           10        5,010          160            3  Biomass.
Shortraker rockfish.................        1,081        1,323          242           22        1,323          242           22  Biomass.
Dusky rockfish......................        4,413        5,486        1,073           24        5,081          668           15  Biomass.
Rougheye rockfish...................        1,254        1,244          -10           -1        1,262            8            1  Biomass.
Demersal shelf rockfish.............          303          274          -29          -10          274          -29          -10  Biomass.
Thornyhead rockfish.................        1,665        1,841          176           11        1,841          176           11  Biomass.
Other rockfish......................        1,080        1,811          731           68        1,811          731           68  N/A
Atka mackerel.......................        2,000        2,000            0            0        2,000            0            0  N/A
Big skate...........................        3,767        3,762           -5            0        3,762           -5            0  N/A
Longnose skate......................        2,625        2,876          251           10        2,876          251           10  N/A
Other skates........................        2,030        1,989          -41           -2        1,989          -41           -2  N/A
Sculpins............................        5,884        5,569         -315           -5        5,569         -315           -5  Biomass.
Sharks..............................        6,028        5,989          -39           -1        5,989          -39           -1  N/A
Squids..............................        1,148        1,148            0            0        1,148            0            0  N/A
Octopuses...........................        1,455        1,507           52            4        1,507           52            4  N/A
                                     -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...........................      427,068      499,274       72,206           17      511,599       84,531         19.8  N/A
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Biomass--Change in estimate of biomass.
\2\ Model--Change in assessment methodology.

    The final 2014 and 2015 TAC recommendations for the GOA are within 
the OY range established for the GOA and do not exceed the ABC for any 
species or species group. Tables 1 and 2 list the final OFL, ABC, and 
TAC amounts for GOA groundfish for 2014 and 2015, respectively.

 Table 1--Final 2014 ABCs, TACs, and OFLs of Groundfish for the Western/Central/West Yakutat, Western, Central,
   Eastern Regulatory Areas, and in the West Yakutat, Southeast Outside, and Gulfwide Districts of the Gulf of
                                                     Alaska
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Species                       Area \1\               OFL               ABC               TAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock \2\........................  Shumagin (610).......               n/a            36,070            36,070

[[Page 12894]]

 
                                     Chirikof (620).......               n/a            81,784            81,784
                                     Kodiak (630).........               n/a            39,756            39,756
                                     WYK (640)............               n/a             4,741             4,741
                                     W/C/WYK (subtotal)...           211,998           162,351           162,351
                                     SEO (650)............            16,833            12,625            12,625
                                     Total................           228,831           174,976           174,976
Pacific cod \3\....................  W....................               n/a            32,745            22,922
                                     C....................               n/a            53,100            39,825
                                     E....................               n/a             2,655             1,991
                                     Total................           107,300            88,500            64,738
Sablefish \4\......................  W....................               n/a             1,480             1,480
                                     C....................               n/a             4,681             4,681
                                     WYK..................               n/a             1,716             1,716
                                     SEO..................               n/a             2,695             2,695
                                     E (WYK and SEO)                     n/a             4,411             4,411
                                      (subtotal).
                                     Total................            12,500            10,572            10,572
Shallow-water flatfish \5\.........  W....................               n/a            20,376            13,250
                                     C....................               n/a            17,813            17,813
                                     WYK..................               n/a             2,039             2,039
                                     SEO..................               n/a               577               577
                                     Total................            50,007            40,805            33,679
Deep-water flatfish \6\............  W....................               n/a               302               302
                                     C....................               n/a             3,727             3,727
                                     WYK..................               n/a             5,532             5,532
                                     SEO..................               n/a             3,911             3,911
                                     Total................            16,159            13,472            13,472
Rex sole...........................  W....................               n/a             1,270             1,270
                                     C....................               n/a             6,231             6,231
                                     WYK..................               n/a               813               813
                                     SEO..................               n/a             1,027             1,027
                                     Total................            12,207             9,341             9,341
Arrowtooth flounder................  W....................               n/a            31,142            14,500
                                     C....................               n/a           115,612            75,000
                                     WYK..................               n/a            37,232             6,900
                                     SEO..................               n/a            11,372             6,900
                                     Total................           229,248           195,358           103,300
Flathead sole......................  W....................               n/a            12,730             8,650
                                     C....................               n/a            24,805            15,400
                                     WYK..................               n/a             3,525             3,525
                                     SEO..................               n/a               171               171
                                     Total................            50,664            41,231            27,746
Pacific ocean perch \7\............  W....................               n/a             2,399             2,399
                                     C....................               n/a            12,855            12,855
                                     WYK..................               n/a             1,931             1,931
                                     W/C/WYK subtotal.....            21,016            17,185            17,185
                                     SEO..................             1,303             2,124             2,124
                                     Total................            22,319            19,309            19,309
Northern rockfish \8\..............  W....................               n/a             1,305             1,305
                                     C....................               n/a             4,017             4,017
                                     E....................               n/a               n/a               n/a
                                     Total................             6,349             5,322             5,322
Shortraker rockfish \9\............  W....................               n/a                92                92
                                     C....................               n/a               397               397
                                     E....................               n/a               834               834
                                     Total................             1,764             1,323             1,323
Dusky rockfish \10\................  W....................               n/a               317               317
                                     C....................               n/a             3,584             3,584
                                     WYK..................               n/a             1,384             1,384
                                     SEO..................               n/a               201               201
                                     Total................             6,708             5,486             5,486
Rougheye and Blackspotted rockfish   W....................               n/a                82                82
 \11\.                               C....................               n/a               864               864
                                     E....................               n/a               298               298
                                     Total................             1,497             1,244             1,244
Demersal shelf rockfish \12\.......  SEO..................               438               274               274
Thornyhead rockfish................  W....................               n/a               235               235
                                     C....................               n/a               875               875
                                     E....................               n/a               731               731

[[Page 12895]]

 
                                     Total................             2,454             1,841             1,841
Other rockfish 13 14...............  W and C..............               n/a             1,031             1,031
                                     WYK..................               n/a               580               580
                                     SEO..................               n/a             2,470               200
                                     Total................             5,347             4,081             1,811
Atka mackerel......................  GW...................             6,200             4,700             2,000
Big skate \15\.....................  W....................               n/a               589               589
                                     C....................               n/a             1,532             1,532
                                     E....................               n/a             1,641             1,641
                                     Total................             5,016             3,762             3,762
Longnose skate \16\................  W....................               n/a               107               107
                                     C....................               n/a             1,935             1,935
                                     E....................               n/a               834               834
                                     Total................             3,835             2,876             2,876
Other skates \17\..................  GW...................             2,652             1,989             1,989
Sculpins...........................  GW...................             7,448             5,569             5,569
Sharks.............................  GW...................             7,986             5,989             5,989
Squids.............................  GW...................             1,530             1,148             1,148
Octopus............................  GW...................             2,009             1,507             1,507
                                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Total................           790,468           640,675          499,274
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Regulatory areas and districts are defined at Sec.   679.2. (W=Western Gulf of Alaska; C=Central Gulf of
  Alaska; E=Eastern Gulf of Alaska; WYK=West Yakutat District; SEO=Southeast Outside District; GW=Gulf-wide).
\2\ Pollock is apportioned in the Western/Central Regulatory Areas among three statistical areas. During the A
  season, the apportionment is based on an adjusted estimate of the relative distribution of pollock biomass of
  approximately 16 percent, 62 percent, and 22 percent in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, respectively.
  During the B season, the apportionment is based on the relative distribution of pollock biomass at 16 percent,
  74 percent, and 10 percent in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, respectively. During the C and D seasons,
  the apportionment is based on the relative distribution of pollock biomass at 36 percent, 28 percent, and 35
  percent in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, respectively. Table 3 lists the final 2014 seasonal
  apportionments. In the West Yakutat and Southeast Outside Districts of the Eastern Regulatory Area, pollock is
  not divided into seasonal allowances.
\3\ The annual Pacific cod TAC is apportioned 60 percent to the A season and 40 percent to the B season in the
  Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA. Pacific cod in the Eastern Regulatory Area is allocated 90
  percent for processing by the inshore component and 10 percent for processing by the offshore component. Table
  5 lists the final 2014 Pacific cod seasonal apportionments.
\4\ Sablefish is allocated to trawl and hook-and-line gear in 2014. Table 7 lists the final 2014 allocations of
  sablefish TACs.
\5\ ``Shallow-water flatfish'' means flatfish not including ``deep-water flatfish,'' flathead sole, rex sole, or
  arrowtooth flounder.
\6\ ``Deep-water flatfish'' means Dover sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, and deepsea sole.
\7\ ``Pacific ocean perch'' means Sebastes alutus.
\8\ ``Northern rockfish'' means Sebastes polyspinis. For management purposes the 2 mt apportionment of ABC to
  the WYK District of the Eastern Gulf of Alaska has been included in the other rockfish species group.
\9\ ``Shortraker rockfish'' means Sebastes borealis.
\10\ ``Dusky rockfish'' means Sebastes variabilis.
\11\ ``Rougheye rockfish'' means Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted).
\12\ ``Demersal shelf rockfish'' means Sebastes pinniger (canary), S. nebulosus (china), S. caurinus (copper),
  S. maliger (quillback), S. helvomaculatus (rosethorn), S. nigrocinctus (tiger), and S. ruberrimus (yelloweye).
 
\13\ ``Other rockfish'' means Sebastes aurora (aurora), S. melanostomus (blackgill), S. paucispinis (bocaccio),
  S. goodei (chilipepper), S. crameri (darkblotch), S. elongatus (greenstriped), S. variegatus (harlequin), S.
  wilsoni (pygmy), S. babcocki (redbanded), S. proriger (redstripe), S. zacentrus (sharpchin), S. jordani
  (shortbelly), S. brevispinis (silvergrey), S. diploproa (splitnose), S. saxicola (stripetail), S. miniatus
  (vermilion), S. reedi (yellowmouth), S. entomelas (widow), and S. flavidus (yellowtail). In the Eastern GOA
  only, other rockfish also includes northern rockfish, S. polyspinis.
\14\ ``Other rockfish'' in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas and in the West Yakutat District means other
  rockfish and demersal shelf rockfish. The ``other rockfish'' species group in the SEO District only includes
  other rockfish.
\15\ ``Big skate'' means Raja binoculata.
\16\ ``Longnose skate'' means Raja rhina.
\17\ ``Other skates'' means Bathyraja spp.


 Table 2--Final 2015 ABCs, TACs, and OFLs of Groundfish for the Western/Central/West Yakutat, Western, Central,
   Eastern Regulatory Areas, and in the West Yakutat, Southeast Outside, and Gulfwide Districts of the Gulf of
                                                     Alaska
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Species                       Area \1\               OFL               ABC               TAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock \2\........................  Shumagin (610).......               n/a            40,254            40,254
                                     Chirikof (620).......               n/a            91,272            91,272
                                     Kodiak (630).........               n/a            44,367            44,367
                                     WYK (640)............               n/a             5,291             5,291
                                     W/C/WYK (subtotal)...           248,384           181,184           181,184
                                     SEO (650)............            16,833            12,625            12,625
                                     Total................           265,217           193,809           193,809
Pacific cod \3\....................  W....................               n/a            31,117            21,782

[[Page 12896]]

 
                                     C....................               n/a            50,460            37,845
                                     E....................               n/a             2,523             1,892
                                     Total................           101,800            84,100            61,519
Sablefish \4\......................  W....................               n/a             1,338             1,338
                                     C....................               n/a             4,230             4,230
                                     WYK..................               n/a             1,551             1,551
                                     SEO..................               n/a             2,435             2,435
                                     E (WYK and SEO)                     n/a             3,986             3,986
                                      (subtotal).
                                     Total................            11,300             9,554             9,554
Shallow-water flatfish \5\.........  W....................               n/a            18,728            13,250
                                     C....................               n/a            16,372            16,372
                                     WYK..................               n/a             1,875             1,875
                                     SEO..................               n/a               530               530
                                     Total................            46,207            37,505            32,027
Deep-water flatfish \6\............  W....................               n/a               300               300
                                     C....................               n/a             3,680             3,680
                                     WYK..................               n/a             5,462             5,462
                                     SEO..................               n/a             3,861             3,861
                                     Total................            15,955            13,303            13,303
Rex sole...........................  W....................               n/a             1,245             1,245
                                     C....................               n/a             6,106             6,106
                                     WYK..................               n/a               796               796
                                     SEO..................               n/a             1,008             1,008
                                     Total................            11,963             9,155             9,155
Arrowtooth flounder................  W....................               n/a            30,217            14,500
                                     C....................               n/a           112,178            75,000
                                     WYK..................               n/a            36,126             6,900
                                     SEO..................               n/a            11,035             6,900
                                     Total................           222,160           189,556           103,300
Flathead sole......................  W....................               n/a            12,661             8,650
                                     C....................               n/a            24,670            15,400
                                     WYK..................               n/a             3,506             3,506
                                     SEO..................               n/a               170               170
                                     Total................            50,376            41,007            27,726
Pacific ocean perch \7\............  W....................               n/a             2,456             2,456
                                     C....................               n/a            13,158            13,158
                                     WYK..................               n/a             1,976             1,976
                                     W/C/WYK..............            20,336            17,590            17,590
                                     SEO..................             2,513             2,174             2,174
                                     Total................            22,849            19,764            19,764
Northern rockfish \8\..............  W....................               n/a             1,229             1,229
                                     C....................               n/a             3,781             3,781
                                     E....................               n/a               n/a               n/a
                                     Total................             5,978             5,010             5,010
Shortraker rockfish \9\............  W....................               n/a                92                92
                                     C....................               n/a               397               397
                                     E....................               n/a               834               834
                                     Total................             1,764             1,323             1,323
Dusky rockfish \10\................  W....................               n/a               295               295
                                     C....................               n/a             3,318             3,318
                                     WYK..................               n/a             1,277             1,277
                                     SEO..................               n/a               191               191
                                     Total................             6,213             5,081             5,081
Rougheye and Blackspotted rockfish   W....................               n/a                83                83
 \11\.                               C....................               n/a               877               877
                                     E....................               n/a               302               302
                                     Total................             1,518             1,262             1,262
Demersal shelf rockfish \12\.......  SEO..................               438               274               274
Thornyhead rockfish................  W....................               n/a               235               235
                                     C....................               n/a               875               875
                                     E....................               n/a               731               731
                                     Total................             2,454             1,841             1,841
Other rockfish 13 14...............  W....................               n/a               n/a               n/a
                                     C....................               n/a             1,031             1,031
                                     WYK..................               n/a               580               580
                                     SEO..................               n/a             2,470               200
                                     Total................             5,347             4,081             1,811
Atka mackerel......................  GW...................             6,200             4,700             2,000

[[Page 12897]]

 
Big skate \15\.....................  W....................               n/a               589               589
                                     C....................               n/a             1,532             1,532
                                     E....................               n/a             1,641             1,641
                                     Total................             5,016             3,762             3,762
Longnose skate \16\................  W....................               n/a               107               107
                                     C....................               n/a             1,935             1,935
                                     E....................               n/a               834               834
                                     Total................             3,835             2,876             2,876
Other skates \17\..................  GW...................             2,652             1,989             1,989
Sculpins...........................  GW...................             7,448             5,569             5,569
Sharks.............................  GW...................             7,986             5,989             5,989
Squids.............................  GW...................             1,530             1,148             1,148
Octopus............................  GW...................             2,009             1,507             1,507
                                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total..........................  .....................           808,215           644,165           511,599
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Regulatory areas and districts are defined at Sec.   679.2. (W=Western Gulf of Alaska; C=Central Gulf of
  Alaska; E=Eastern Gulf of Alaska; WYK=West Yakutat District; SEO=Southeast Outside District; GW=Gulf-wide).
\2\ Pollock is apportioned in the Western/Central Regulatory Areas among three statistical areas. During the A
  season, the apportionment is based on an adjusted estimate of the relative distribution of pollock biomass of
  approximately 16 percent, 62 percent, and 22 percent in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, respectively.
  During the B season, the apportionment is based on the relative distribution of pollock biomass at 16 percent,
  74 percent, and 10 percent in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, respectively. During the C and D seasons,
  the apportionment is based on the relative distribution of pollock biomass at 37 percent, 28 percent, and 35
  percent in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, respectively. Table 4 lists the final 2015 seasonal
  apportionments. In the West Yakutat and Southeast Outside Districts of the Eastern Regulatory Area, pollock is
  not divided into seasonal allowances.
\3\ The annual Pacific cod TAC is apportioned 60 percent to the A season and 40 percent to the B season in the
  Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA. Pacific cod in the Eastern Regulatory Area is allocated 90
  percent for processing by the inshore component and 10 percent for processing by the offshore component. Table
  6 lists the final 2015 Pacific cod seasonal apportionments.
\4\ Sablefish is only allocated to trawl gear for 2015. Table 8 lists the final 2015 allocation of sablefish
  TACs to trawl gear.
\5\ ``Shallow-water flatfish'' means flatfish not including ``deep-water flatfish,'' flathead sole, rex sole, or
  arrowtooth flounder.
\6\ ``Deep-water flatfish'' means Dover sole, Greenland turbot, Kamchatka flounder, and deepsea sole.
\7\ ``Pacific ocean perch'' means Sebastes alutus.
\8\ ``Northern rockfish'' means Sebastes polyspinis. For management purposes the 2 mt apportionment of ABC to
  the WYK District of the Eastern Gulf of Alaska has been included in the other rockfish species group.
\9\ ``Shortraker rockfish'' means Sebastes borealis.
\10\ ``Dusky rockfish'' means Sebastes variabilis.
\11\ ``Rougheye rockfish'' means Sebastes aleutianus (rougheye) and Sebastes melanostictus (blackspotted).
\12\ ``Demersal shelf rockfish'' means Sebastes pinniger (canary), S. nebulosus (china), S. caurinus (copper),
  S. maliger (quillback), S. helvomaculatus (rosethorn), S. nigrocinctus (tiger), and S. ruberrimus (yelloweye).
\13\ ``Other rockfish'' means Sebastes aurora (aurora), S. melanostomus (blackgill), S. paucispinis (bocaccio),
  S. goodei (chilipepper), S. crameri (darkblotch), S. elongatus (greenstriped), S. variegatus (harlequin), S.
  wilsoni (pygmy), S. babcocki (redbanded), S. proriger (redstripe), S. zacentrus (sharpchin), S. jordani
  (shortbelly), S. brevispinis (silvergrey), S. diploproa (splitnose), S. saxicola (stripetail), S. miniatus
  (vermilion), S. reedi (yellowmouth), S. entomelas (widow), and S. flavidus (yellowtail). In the Eastern GOA
  only, other rockfish also includes northern rockfish, S. polyspinis.
\14\ ``Other rockfish'' in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas and in the West Yakutat District means other
  rockfish and demersal shelf rockfish. The ``other rockfish'' species group in the SEO District only includes
  other rockfish.
\15\ ``Big skate'' means Raja binoculata.
\16\ ``Longnose skate'' means Raja rhina.
\17\ ``Other skates'' means Bathyraja spp.

Apportionment of Reserves

    Section 679.20(b)(2) requires NMFS to set aside 20 percent of each 
TAC for pollock, Pacific cod, flatfish, sculpins, sharks, squids, and 
octopuses in reserve for possible apportionment at a later date during 
the fishing year. For 2014 and 2015, NMFS proposed reapportionment of 
all the reserves in the proposed 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications 
published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2013 (78 FR 74079). 
NMFS did not receive any public comments on the proposed 
reapportionments. For the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications, 
NMFS reapportioned, as proposed, all the reserves for pollock, Pacific 
cod, flatfish, sculpins, sharks, squids, and octopuses. The TACs listed 
in Tables 1 and 2 reflect reapportionments of reserve amounts for these 
species and species groups.

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

    In the GOA, pollock is apportioned by season and area, and is 
further allocated for processing by inshore and offshore components. 
Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B), the annual pollock TAC specified 
for the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA is apportioned 
into four equal seasonal allowances of 25 percent. As established by 
Sec.  679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), the A, B, C, and D season 
allowances are available from January 20 to March 10, March 10 to May 
31, August 25 to October 1, and October 1 to November 1, respectively.
    Pollock TACs in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA 
are apportioned among Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, pursuant to 
Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(A). In the A and B seasons, the apportionments 
are in proportion to the distribution of pollock biomass based on the 
four most recent NMFS winter surveys. In the C and D seasons, the 
apportionments are in proportion to the distribution of pollock biomass 
based on the four most recent

[[Page 12898]]

NMFS summer surveys. However, for 2014 and 2015, the Council 
recommended, and NMFS approves, averaging the winter and summer 
distribution of pollock in the Central Regulatory Area for the A season 
instead of using the distribution based on only the winter surveys. The 
average is intended to reflect the migration patterns and distribution 
of pollock, and the performance of the fishery, in that area during the 
A season for the 2014 and 2015 fishing years. For the A season, the 
apportionment is based on an adjusted estimate of the relative 
distribution of pollock biomass of approximately 12 percent, 66 
percent, and 22 percent in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, 
respectively. For the B season, the apportionment is based on the 
relative distribution of pollock biomass at 12 percent, 79 percent, and 
9 percent in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, respectively. For the 
C and D seasons, the apportionment is based on the relative 
distribution of pollock biomass at 34 percent, 32 percent, and 35 
percent in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630, respectively.
    Within any fishing year, the amount by which a seasonal allowance 
is underharvested or overharvested may be added to, or subtracted from, 
subsequent seasonal allowances in a manner to be determined by the 
Regional Administrator (Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B)). The rollover amount 
is limited to 20 percent of the subsequent seasonal apportionment for 
the statistical area. Any unharvested pollock above the 20-percent 
limit could be further distributed to the other statistical areas, in 
proportion to the estimated biomass in the subsequent season in those 
statistical areas (Sec.  679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B)). The pollock TACs in the 
WYK and SEO District of 4,741 mt and 12,625 mt, respectively, in 2014, 
and 5,291 mt and 12,625 mt, respectively, in 2015, are not allocated by 
season.
    Section 679.20(a)(6)(i) requires the allocation of 100 percent of 
the pollock TAC in all regulatory areas and all seasonal allowances to 
vessels catching pollock for processing by the inshore component after 
subtraction of amounts projected by the Regional Administrator to be 
caught by, or delivered to, the offshore component incidental to 
directed fishing for other groundfish species. Thus, the amount of 
pollock available for harvest by vessels harvesting pollock for 
processing by the offshore component is that amount that will be taken 
as incidental catch during directed fishing for groundfish species 
other than pollock, up to the maximum retainable amounts allowed by 
Sec.  679.20(e) and (f). At this time, these incidental catch amounts 
of pollock are unknown and will be determined during the fishing year 
during the course of fishing activities by the offshore component.
    Tables 3 and 4 list the final 2014 and 2015 seasonal biomass 
distribution of pollock in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas, 
area apportionments, and seasonal allowances. The amounts of pollock 
for processing by the inshore and offshore components are not shown.

 Table 3--Final 2014 Distribution of Pollock in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the GOA; Seasonal Biomass Distribution, Area Apportionments;
                                                          and Seasonal Allowances of Annual TAC
                             [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages are rounded to the nearest 0.01]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Season \1\                              Shumagin (Area 610)
                                                                  Chirikof (Area 620)
                                                                   Kodiak (Area 630)      Total \2\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A (Jan 20-Mar 10)............................................        4,800     (12.18%)       25,924     (65.79%)        8,680     (22.03%)       39,402
B (Mar 10-May 31)............................................        4,799     (12.18%)       30,963     (78.58%)        3,636      (9.23%)       39,402
C (Aug 25-Oct 1).............................................       13,235     (33.59%)       12,448     (31.59%)       13,720     (34.82%)       39,402
D (Oct 1-Nov 1)..............................................       13,235     (33.59%)       12,448     (31.59%)       13,720     (34.82%)       39,402
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Annual Total.............................................       36,070  ...........       81,784  ...........       39,756  ...........      157,610
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ As established by Sec.   679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), the A, B, C, and D season allowances are available from January 20 to March 10, March 10 to
  May 31, August 25 to October 1, and October 1 to November 1, respectively. The amounts of pollock for processing by the inshore and offshore
  components are not shown in this table.
\2\ The WYK and SEO District pollock TACs are not allocated by season and are not included in the total pollock TACs shown in this table.


 Table 4--Final 2015 Distribution of Pollock in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the GOA; Seasonal Biomass Distribution, Area Apportionments;
                                                          and Seasonal Allowances of Annual TAC
                             [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages are rounded to the nearest 0.01]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Season \1\                              Shumagin (Area 610)
                                                                  Chirikof (Area 620)
                                                                   Kodiak (Area 630)      Total \2\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A (Jan 20-Mar 10)............................................        5,357     (12.18%)       28,932     (65.79%)        9,687     (22.03%)       43,973
B (Mar 10-May 31)............................................        5,356     (12.18%)       34,555     (78.58%)        4,059      (9.23%)       43,973
C (Aug 25-Oct 1).............................................       14,771     (33.59%)       13,892     (31.59%)       15,311     (34.82%)       43,973
D (Oct 1-Nov 1)..............................................       14,771     (33.59%)       13,892     (31.59%)       15,311     (34.82%)       43,973
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Annual Total.............................................       40,254  ...........       91,272  ...........       44,367  ...........      175,893
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ As established by Sec.   679.23(d)(2)(i) through (iv), the A, B, C, and D season allowances are available from January 20 to March 10, March 10 to
  May 31, August 25 to October 1, and October 1 to November 1, respectively. The amounts of pollock for processing by the inshore and offshore
  components are not shown in this table.
\2\ The WYK and SEO District pollock TACs are not allocated by season and are not included in the total pollock TACs shown in this table.

Annual and Seasonal Apportionments of Pacific Cod TAC

    Section 679.20(a)(12)(i) requires the allocation of the Pacific cod 
TACs in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA among gear 
and operational sectors. Section 679.20(a)(6)(ii) requires the 
allocation of the Pacific cod TACs in the Eastern Regulatory Area of 
the GOA between the inshore and offshore components. NMFS allocates the 
2014 and 2015 Pacific cod TAC based on these sector allocations 
annually between the inshore and offshore components in the Eastern 
GOA; seasonally between vessels using jig gear, CVs using hook-and-line 
gear, C/Ps

[[Page 12899]]

using hook-and-line gear, CVs using trawl gear, and vessels using pot 
gear in the Western GOA; seasonally between vessels using jig gear, CVs 
less than 50 feet in length overall using hook-and-line gear, CVs equal 
to or greater than 50 feet in length overall using hook-and-line gear, 
C/Ps using hook-and-line gear, CVs using trawl gear, C/Ps using trawl 
gear, and vessels using pot gear in the Central GOA. The overall 
seasonal apportionments in the Western and Central GOA are 60 percent 
of the annual TAC to the A season and 40 percent of the annual TAC to 
the B season.
    Under Sec.  679.20(a)(12)(ii), any overage or underage of the 
Pacific cod allowance from the A season will be subtracted from, or 
added to, the subsequent B season allowance. In addition, any portion 
of the hook-and-line, trawl, pot, or jig sector allocations that NMFS 
determines is likely to go unharvested by a sector may be reapportioned 
to other sectors for harvest during the remainder of the fishery year.
    In accordance with the FMP, the annual jig sector allocations may 
increase to up to 6 percent of the annual Western and Central GOA 
Pacific cod TACs, depending on the annual performance of the jig sector 
(See Table 1 of Amendment 83 to the FMP for a detailed discussion of 
the jig sector allocation process (76 FR 74670, December 1, 2011). Jig 
sector allocation increases are established for a minimum of 2 years. 
NMFS allocates the jig sector 2.5 percent of the annual Pacific cod TAC 
in the Western GOA. This includes a base allocation of 1.5 percent and 
an additional 1.0 percent because this sector harvested greater than 90 
percent of its initial 2012 allocation in the Western GOA. NMFS also 
allocates the jig sector 2.0 percent of the annual Pacific cod TAC in 
the Central GOA. This includes a base allocation of 1.0 percent and an 
additional 1.0 percent because this sector harvested greater than 90 
percent of its initial 2012 allocation in the Central GOA. In 2013, 
neither the Western nor Central GOA jig sectors harvested 90 percent of 
their respective 2013 Pacific cod allocations. In early 2015, NMFS will 
re-evaluate the annual 2013 and 2014 harvest performance of each jig 
sector and determine whether to maintain or decrease the jig sector 
allocations proposed by this action in conjunction with the 2015 and 
2016 proposed harvest specifications. Tables 5 and 6 list the seasonal 
apportionments and allocations of the 2014 and 2015 Pacific cod TACs.

 Table 5--Final 2014 Seasonal Apportionments and Allocation of Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts in the
GOA; Allocations for the Western GOA and Central GOA Sectors and the Eastern GOA Inshore and Offshore Processing
                                                   Components
 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages to the nearest 0.01. Seasonal allowances may not
                                  total precisely to annual allocation amount]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             A Season                        B Season
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Annual          Sector                          Sector
   Regulatory area and sector       allocation     percentage of     Seasonal      percentage of     Seasonal
                                       (mt)       annual non-jig    allowances    annual non-jig    allowances
                                                        TAC            (mt)             TAC            (mt)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Western GOA:
    Jig (2.5% of TAC)...........             573             N/A             344             N/A             229
    Hook-and-line CV............             313            0.70             156            0.70             156
    Hook-and-line C/P...........           4,425           10.90           2,436            8.90           1,989
    Trawl CV....................           8,582           27.70           6,191           10.70           2,391
    Trawl C/P...................             536            0.90             201            1.50             335
    All Pot CV and Pot C/P......           8,492           19.80           4,425           18.20           4,067
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total...................          22,922           60.00          13,753           40.00           9,169
Central GOA:
    Jig (2.0% of TAC)...........             797             N/A             478             N/A             319
    Hook-and-line < 50 CV.......           5,699            9.32           3,636            5.29           2,063
    Hook-and-line >= 50 CV......           2,617            5.61           2,189            1.10             428
    Hook-and-line C/P...........           1,992            4.11           1,603            1.00             389
    Trawl CV \1\................          16,230           21.14           8,249           20.45           7,981
    Trawl C/P...................           1,638            2.00             782            2.19             856
    All Pot CV and Pot C/P......          10,852           17.83           6,959            9.97           3,893
        Total...................          39,825           60.00          23,895           40.00          15,930
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
Eastern GOA:....................  ..............    Inshore (90% of Annual TAC)
                                   Offshore (10% of Annual TAC)
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                           1,991               1,792
                                                199
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Trawl vessels participating in Rockfish Program cooperatives receive 3.81 percent of the annual Central GOA
  TAC, which is deducted from the Trawl CV B season allowance (see Table 12).


[[Page 12900]]


 Table 6--Final 2015 Seasonal Apportionments and Allocation of Pacific Cod Total Allowable Catch Amounts in the
GOA; Allocations for the Western GOA and Central GOA Sectors and the Eastern GOA Inshore and Offshore Processing
                                                   Components
 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton and percentages to the nearest 0.01. Seasonal allowances may not
                                  total precisely to annual allocation amount.]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             A Season                        B Season
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Annual          Sector                          Sector
   Regulatory area and sector       allocation     percentage of     Seasonal      percentage of     Seasonal
                                       (mt)       annual non-jig    allowances    annual non-jig    allowances
                                                        TAC            (mt)             TAC            (mt)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Western GOA:
    Jig (2.5% of TAC)...........             545             N/A             327             N/A             218
    Hook-and-line CV............             297            0.70             149            0.70             149
    Hook-and-line C/P...........           4,205           10.90           2,315            8.90           1,890
    Trawl CV....................           8,155           27.70           5,883           10.70           2,272
    Trawl C/P...................             510            0.90             191            1.50             319
    All Pot CV and Pot C/P......           8,070           19.80           4,205           18.20           3,865
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total...................          21,782           60.00          13,069           40.00           8,713
Central GOA:                      ..............
    Jig (2.0% of TAC)...........             757             N/A             454             N/A             303
    Hook-and-line < 50 CV.......           5,416            9.32           3,455            5.29           1,961
    Hook-and-line >= 50 CV......           2,487            5.61           2,080            1.10             407
    Hook-and-line C/P...........           1,893            4.11           1,523            1.00             370
    Trawl CV \1\................          15,423           21.14           7,839           20.45           7,584
    Trawl C/P...................           1,557            2.00             743            2.19             814
    All Pot CV and Pot C/P......          10,312           17.83           6,613            9.97           3,700
        Total...................          37,845           60.00          22,707           40.00          15,138
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
Eastern GOA.....................  ..............    Inshore (90% of Annual TAC)
                                   Offshore (10% of Annual TAC)
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                           1,892               1,703
                                                189
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Trawl vessels participating in Rockfish Program cooperatives receive 3.81 percent of the annual Central GOA
  TAC, which is deducted from the Trawl CV B season allowance (see Table13).

Allocations of the Sablefish TACs

    Section 679.20(a)(4)(i) and (ii) require allocations of sablefish 
TACs for each of the regulatory areas and districts to hook-and-line 
and trawl gear. In the Western and Central Regulatory Areas, 80 percent 
of each TAC is allocated to hook-and-line gear, and 20 percent of each 
TAC is allocated to trawl gear. In the Eastern Regulatory Area, 95 
percent of the TAC is allocated to hook-and-line gear, and 5 percent is 
allocated to trawl gear. The trawl gear allocation in the Eastern 
Regulatory Area may only be used to support incidental catch of 
sablefish in directed fisheries for other target species (Sec.  
679.20(a)(4)(i)).
    In recognition of the prohibition against trawl gear in the SEO 
District of the Eastern Regulatory Area, the Council recommended and 
NMFS approves the allocation of 5 percent of the combined Eastern 
Regulatory Area sablefish TAC to trawl gear in the WYK District, making 
the remainder of the WYK sablefish TAC available to vessels using hook-
and-line gear. NMFS allocates 100 percent of the sablefish TAC in the 
SEO District to vessels using hook-and-line gear. This action results 
in a 2014 allocation of 221 mt to trawl gear and 1,495 mt to hook-and-
line gear in the WYK District, a 2014 allocation of 2,695 mt to hook-
and-line gear in the SEO District, and a 2015 allocation of 199 mt to 
trawl gear in the WYK District. Table 7 lists the allocations of the 
2014 sablefish TACs to hook-and-line and trawl gear. Table 8 lists the 
allocations of the 2015 sablefish TACs to trawl gear.
    The Council recommended that the hook-and-line sablefish TAC be 
established annually to ensure that this Individual Fishery Quota (IFQ) 
fishery is conducted concurrently with the halibut IFQ fishery and is 
based on recent sablefish survey information. The Council also 
recommended that only a trawl sablefish TAC be established for two 
years so that retention of incidental catch of sablefish by trawl gear 
could commence in January in the second year of the groundfish harvest 
specifications. Since there is an annual assessment for sablefish and 
the final harvest specifications are expected to be published before 
the IFQ season begins March 8, 2014, the Council recommended that the 
hook-and-line sablefish TAC be set on an annual basis, rather than for 
two years, so that the best scientific information available could be 
considered in establishing the sablefish ABCs and TACs. With the 
exception of the trawl allocations that were provided to the Rockfish 
Program cooperatives, directed fishing for sablefish with trawl gear is 
closed during the fishing year. Also, fishing for groundfish with trawl 
gear is prohibited prior to January 20. Therefore, it is not likely 
that the sablefish allocation to trawl gear would be reached before the 
effective date of the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications.

[[Page 12901]]



   Table 7--Final 2014 Sablefish TAC Specifications in the GOA and Allocations to Hook-and-Line and Trawl Gear
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Hook-and-line       Trawl
                          Area/District                                 TAC         allocation      allocation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Western.........................................................           1,480           1,184             296
Central.........................................................           4,681           3,745             936
West Yakutat \1\................................................           1,716           1,495             221
Southeast Outside...............................................           2,695           2,695               0
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................          10,572           9,119          1,453
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The trawl allocation is based on allocating 5 percent of the combined Eastern Regulatory Area (West Yakutat
  and Southeast Outside combined) sablefish TAC to trawl gear in the West Yakutat District.


          Table 8--Final 2015 Sablefish TAC Specifications in the GOA and Allocation to Trawl Gear \1\
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Hook-and-line       Trawl
                          Area/District                                 TAC         allocation      allocation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Western.........................................................           1,338             n/a             268
Central.........................................................           4,230             n/a             846
West Yakutat \2\................................................           1,551             n/a             199
Southeast Outside...............................................           2,435             n/a               0
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................           9,554             n/a          1,313
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Council recommended that harvest specifications for the hook-and-line gear sablefish Individual Fishing
  Quota fisheries be limited to 1 year.
\2\ The trawl allocation is based on allocating 5 percent of the combined Eastern Regulatory Area (West Yakutat
  and Southeast Outside combined) sablefish TAC to trawl gear in the West Yakutat District.

Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR)

    The recommended 2014 and 2015 DSR TAC is 274 mt, and management of 
DSR is delegated to the State. In 2006, the Alaska Board of Fish 
allocated future SEO District DSR TACs between the commercial fishery 
(84 percent) and the sport fishery (16 percent) after deductions were 
made for anticipated subsistence harvests (7 mt). This results in 2014 
and 2015 allocations of 224 mt to the commercial fishery and 43 mt to 
the sport fishery.
    The State deducts estimates of incidental catch of DSR in the 
commercial halibut fishery and test fishery mortality from the DSR 
commercial fishery allocation. In 2014, this resulted in 32 mt being 
available for the directed commercial DSR fishery apportioned in one 
DSR district. The State estimated that there was not sufficient DSR 
quota available to have orderly fisheries in the three other DSR 
districts. DSR harvest in the halibut fishery is linked to the annual 
halibut catch limits; therefore the State can only estimate potential 
DSR incidental catch in that fishery when those halibut catch limits 
are established by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). 
Federally permitted CVs using hook-and-line or jig gear fishing for 
groundfish and Pacific halibut in the SEO District of the GOA are 
required to retain all DSR (Sec.  679.20(j)).

Apportionments to the Central GOA Rockfish Program

    These final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications for the GOA 
include the various fishery cooperative allocations and sideboard 
limitations established by the Central GOA Rockfish Program. For the 
Rockfish Program, the rockfish primary species (Pacific ocean perch, 
northern rockfish, and dusky rockfish) are allocated to participants 
after deducting for incidental catch needs in other directed groundfish 
fisheries. Program participants are primarily trawl CVs and trawl C/Ps, 
with limited participation by vessels using longline gear.
    The Rockfish Program assigns quota share and cooperative quota to 
participants for primary and secondary species, allows participants 
holding a license limitation program (LLP) license with rockfish quota 
share to form a rockfish cooperative, and allows holders of C/P LLP 
licenses to opt-out of the fishery. The Rockfish Program also has an 
entry level fishery for rockfish primary species for vessels using 
longline gear. Additionally, the Rockfish Program establishes sideboard 
limits to restrict the ability of harvesters operating under the 
Rockfish Program to increase their participation in other, non-Rockfish 
Program fisheries. Besides groundfish species, the Rockfish Program 
allocates a portion of the halibut PSC limit (191 mt) from the third 
season deep-water species fishery allowance for the GOA trawl fisheries 
to Rockfish Program participants (Sec.  679.81(d)), which includes 117 
mt to the CV sector and 74 mt to the C/P sector.
    Section 679.81(a)(2)(ii) requires allocations of 5 mt of Pacific 
ocean perch, 5 mt of northern rockfish, and 30 mt of dusky rockfish to 
the entry level longline fishery in 2014 and 2015. The allocation for 
the entry level longline fishery would increase incrementally each year 
if the catch exceeds 90 percent of the allocation of a species. The 
incremental increase in the allocation would continue each year until 
it is the maximum percent of the TAC for that species. In 2013, the 
catch did not exceed 90 percent of any allocated rockfish species. 
Therefore, NMFS is not increasing the entry level longline fishery 2014 
and 2015 allocations in the Central GOA. Longline gear includes hook-
and-line, jig, troll, and handline gear. The remainder of the TACs for 
the rockfish primary species would be allocated to the CV and C/P 
cooperatives. Table 9 lists the allocations of the 2014 and initial 
2015 TACs for each rockfish primary species to the entry level

[[Page 12902]]

longline fishery, the incremental increase for future years, and the 
maximum percent of the TAC for the entry level longline fishery.

Table 9--Final 2014 and Initial 2015 Allocations of Rockfish Primary Species to the Entry Level Longline Fishery
                                          in the Central Gulf of Alaska
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Incremental increase in
       Rockfish primary species          2014 and 2015 allocations    2015 if >= 90% of 2014    Up to maximum  %
                                                                     allocation is harvested         of TAC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch...................  5 metric tons.............  5 metric tons............                  1
Northern rockfish.....................  5 metric tons.............  5 metric tons............                  2
Dusky rockfish........................  30 metric tons............  20 metric tons...........                  5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 679.81(a)(2)(iii) requires allocations of the rockfish 
primary species among various components of the Rockfish Program. 
Tables 10 and 11 list the final 2014 and 2015 allocations of rockfish 
primary species in the Central GOA to the entry level longline fishery 
and other participants in the Rockfish Program, which include CV and C/
P cooperatives. NMFS also is setting aside incidental catch amounts 
(ICAs) for other directed fisheries in the Central GOA of 1,200 mt of 
Pacific ocean perch, 200 mt of northern rockfish, and 200 mt of dusky 
rockfish. These amounts are based on recent average incidental catches 
in the Central GOA by other groundfish fisheries.
    Allocations between vessels belonging to CV or C/P cooperatives are 
not included in these final harvest specifications. Rockfish Program 
applications for CV cooperatives and C/P cooperatives are not due to 
NMFS until March 1 of each calendar year, therefore, NMFS cannot 
calculate 2014 and 2015 allocations in conjunction with these final 
harvest specifications. NMFS will post these allocations on the Alaska 
Region Web site at (http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/goarat/default.htm) when they become available 
after March 1.

  Table 10--Final 2014 Allocations of Rockfish Primary Species in the Central Gulf of Alaska to the Entry Level
                         Longline Fishery and Other Participants in the Rockfish Program
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                   Allocation to
                                                                                   Allocation to       other
                                                    Incidental                       the entry     participants
    Rockfish primary species            TAC            catch       TAC minus ICA  level longline      in the
                                                     allowance                     \1\  fishery      Rockfish
                                                                                                    Program \2\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch.............          12,855           1,200          11,655               5          11,650
Northern rockfish...............           4,017             200           3,817               5           3,812
Dusky rockfish..................           3,584             200           3,384              30           3,354
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................          20,456           1,600          18,856              40         18,816
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Longline gear includes hook-and-line, jig, troll, and handline gear.
\2\ Other participants in the Rockfish Program include vessels in CV and C/P cooperatives.


  Table 11--Final 2015 Allocations of Rockfish Primary Species in the Central Gulf of Alaska to the Entry Level
                         Longline Fishery and Other Participants in the Rockfish Program
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                   Allocation to
                                                                                   Allocation to       other
                                                    Incidental                       the entry     participants
    Rockfish primary species            TAC            catch       TAC minus ICA  level longline      in the
                                                     allowance                     \1\  fishery      Rockfish
                                                                                                    Program \2\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific ocean perch.............          13,158           1,200          11,958               5          11,953
Northern rockfish...............           3,781             200           3,581               5           3,576
Dusky rockfish..................           3,318             200           3,118              30           3,088
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................          20,257           1,600          18,657              40         18,617
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Longline gear includes hook-and-line, jig, troll, and handline gear.
\2\ Other participants in the Rockfish Program include vessels in CV and C/P cooperatives.

    Section 679.81(c) requires allocations of rockfish secondary 
species to CV and C/P cooperatives in the Central GOA. CV cooperatives 
receive allocations of Pacific cod, sablefish from the trawl gear 
allocation, and thornyhead rockfish. C/P cooperatives receive 
allocations of sablefish from the trawl allocation, rougheye rockfish, 
shortraker rockfish, and thornyhead rockfish. Tables 12 and 13 lists 
the apportionments of the 2014 and 2015 TACs of rockfish secondary 
species in the Central GOA to CV and C/P cooperatives.

[[Page 12903]]



        Table 12--Final 2014 Apportionments of Rockfish Secondary Species in the Central GOA to Catcher Vessel and Catcher/Processor Cooperatives
                                                     [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                         Catcher vessel cooperatives     Catcher/processor cooperatives
                                                                      Annual central -------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Rockfish secondary species                          GOA TAC       Percentage of    Apportionment    Percentage of    Apportionment
                                                                                            TAC              (mt)             TAC              (mt)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod........................................................           39,825             3.81            1,517             0.00                0
Sablefish..........................................................            4,681             6.78              317             3.51              164
Shortraker rockfish................................................              397             0.00                0            40.00              159
Rougheye rockfish..................................................              864             0.00                0            58.87              509
Thornyhead rockfish................................................              875             7.84               69            26.50              232
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


        Table 13--Final 2015 Apportionments of Rockfish Secondary Species in the Central GOA to Catcher Vessel and Cather/Processor Cooperatives
                                                     [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                         Catcher vessel cooperatives     Catcher/processor cooperatives
                                                                      Annual central -------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Rockfish secondary species                          GOA TAC       Percentage of    Apportionment    Percentage of    Apportionment
                                                                                            TAC              (mt)             TAC              (mt)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod........................................................           37,845             3.81            1,442             0.00                0
Sablefish..........................................................            4,230             6.78              287             3.51              148
Shortraker rockfish................................................              397             0.00                0            40.00              159
Rougheye rockfish..................................................              877             0.00                0            58.87              516
Thornyhead rockfish................................................              875             7.84               69            26.50              232
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Halibut PSC Limits

    Section 679.21(d) establishes the annual halibut PSC limit 
apportionments to trawl and hook-and-line gear, and authorizes the 
establishment of apportionments for pot gear. As discussed previously 
in this preamble, the final rule implementing Amendment 95 (79 FR 9625, 
February 20, 2014) reduced the halibut PSC limits for the GOA trawl and 
hook-and-line sectors. In December 2013, the Council incorporated these 
reductions into its recommended final 2014 and 2015 harvest 
specifications. The Council recommended 2014 halibut PSC limits of 
1,848 mt for trawl gear, 270 mt for hook-and-line gear, and 9 mt for 
the DSR fishery. The Council also recommended 2015 halibut PSC limits 
of 1,759 mt for the trawl sector, 261 mt for the hook-and-line sector, 
and 9 mt for the DSR fishery. The proposed 2014 and 2015 harvest 
specifications (78 FR 74079, December 10, 2013) discuss the potential 
that the proposed halibut PSC limits could be reduced, pending 
implementation of Amendment 95. The reductions established by Amendment 
95 (79 FR 9625, February 20, 2014) are implemented by this action.
    The FMP authorizes the Council to exempt specific gear from the 
halibut PSC limits. NMFS, after consultation with the Council, exempts 
pot gear, jig gear, and the sablefish IFQ hook-and-line gear fishery 
categories from the non-trawl halibut PSC limit for 2014 and 2015. The 
Council recommended, and NMFS approves, these exemptions because (1) 
the pot gear fisheries have low annual halibut bycatch mortality, (2) 
IFQ program regulations prohibit discard of halibut if any halibut IFQ 
permit holder on board a catcher vessel holds unused halibut IFQ (Sec.  
679.7(f)(11)), (3) sablefish IFQ fishermen typically hold halibut IFQ 
permits and are therefore required to retain the halibut they catch 
while fishing sablefish IFQ, and (4) NMFS estimates negligible halibut 
mortality for the jig gear fisheries. NMFS estimates that halibut 
mortality is negligible in the jig gear fisheries given the small 
amount of groundfish harvested by jig gear, the selective nature of jig 
gear, and the high survival rates of halibut caught and released with 
jig gear.
    NMFS implemented a restructured observer program in 2013 (77 FR 
70062, November 21, 2012). The restructured observer program provides 
data on fisheries that have previously been unobserved or were subject 
to very limited observer coverage. Specifically, the restructured 
observer program will improve biological and fisheries data, including 
halibut PSC, for pot and sablefish IFQ fisheries. NMFS will continue to 
review halibut PSC data collected in pot and sablefish IFQ fisheries in 
2013 and 2014, and provide input to the GOA Plan Team and Council. 
These data could be considered in future years when deciding whether to 
exempt specific gear from halibut PSC limits.
    Section 679.21(d)(4) authorizes NMFS to seasonally apportion the 
halibut PSC limits after consultation with the Council. The FMP and 
regulations require the Council and NMFS to consider the following 
information in seasonally apportioning halibut PSC limits: (1) Seasonal 
distribution of halibut, (2) seasonal distribution of target groundfish 
species relative to halibut distribution, (3) expected halibut bycatch 
needs on a seasonal basis relative to changes in halibut biomass and 
expected catch of target groundfish species, (4) expected bycatch rates 
on a seasonal basis, (5) expected changes in directed groundfish 
fishing seasons, (6) expected actual start of fishing effort, and (7) 
economic effects of establishing seasonal halibut allocations on 
segments of the target groundfish industry. The Council considered 
information from the 2013 SAFE report, NMFS catch data, State of Alaska 
catch data, IPHC stock assessment and mortality data, and public 
testimony when apportioning the halibut PSC limits. NMFS concurs with 
the Council's recommendations listed in Tables 14 and 15, which 
respectively shows the final 2014 and 2015 Pacific halibut PSC limits, 
allowances, and apportionments. The limits reflect the revised halibut 
PSC limits implemented in accordance with Amendment 95 (79 FR 9625, 
February 20, 2014).

[[Page 12904]]

    Sections 679.21(d)(4)(iii) and (iv) specify that any underages or 
overages of a seasonal apportionment of a PSC limit will be deducted 
from or added to the next respective seasonal apportionment within the 
fishing year. Additionally, residual amounts of a seasonal Amendment 80 
sideboard halibut PSC limit may carry forward to the next season limit 
(Sec.  679.92(b)(2)).

                                     Table 14--Final 2014 Pacific Halibut PSC Limits, Allowances, and Apportionments
                                                               [Values are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           Trawl gear                                                             Hook-and-line gear \1\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Other than DSR                                    DSR
                Season                   Percent       Amount   ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                          Season            Percent       Amount             Season             Amount
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 20-April 1...................         27.5          508  January 1-June 10......           86          233  January 1-December 31..            9
April 1-July 1.......................           20          370  June 10-September 1....            2            5  .......................  ...........
July 1-September 1...................           30          554  September 1-December 31           12           32  .......................  ...........
September 1-October 1................          7.5          139  .......................  ...........  ...........  .......................  ...........
October 1-December 31................           15          277  .......................  ...........  ...........  .......................  ...........
                                      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total............................  ...........        1,848  .......................  ...........          270  .......................            9
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limit for hook-and-line gear is allocated to the demersal shelf rockfish (DSR) fishery and
  fisheries other than DSR. The hook-and-line sablefish fishery is exempt from halibut PSC limits, as are pot and jig gear for all groundfish fisheries.


                                     Table 15--Final 2015 Pacific Halibut PSC Limits, Allowances, and Apportionments
                                                               [Values are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           Trawl gear                                                             Hook-and-line gear \1\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Other than DSR                                    DSR
                Season                   Percent       Amount   ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                          Season            Percent       Amount             Season             Amount
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 20-April 1...................         27.5          484  January 1-June 10......           86          225  January 1-December 31..            9
April 1-July 1.......................           20          352  June 10-September 1....            2            5  .......................  ...........
July 1-September 1...................           30          528  September 1-December 31           12           31  .......................  ...........
September 1-October 1................          7.5          132  .......................  ...........  ...........  .......................  ...........
October 1-December 31................           15          263  .......................  ...........  ...........  .......................  ...........
                                      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total............................  ...........        1,759  .......................  ...........          261  .......................            9
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limit for hook-and-line gear is allocated to the demersal shelf rockfish (DSR) fishery and
  fisheries other than DSR. The hook-and-line sablefish fishery is exempt from halibut PSC limits, as are pot and jig gear for all groundfish fisheries.

    Section 679.21(d)(3)(ii) authorizes further apportionment of the 
trawl halibut PSC limit to trawl fishery categories. The annual 
apportionments are based on each category's proportional share of the 
anticipated halibut bycatch mortality during the fishing year and 
optimization of the total amount of groundfish harvest under the 
halibut PSC limit. The fishery categories for the trawl halibut PSC 
limits are (1) a deep-water species fishery, composed of sablefish, 
rockfish, deep-water flatfish, rex sole, and arrowtooth flounder; and 
(2) a shallow-water species fishery, composed of pollock, Pacific cod, 
shallow-water flatfish, flathead sole, Atka mackerel, skates, and 
``other species'' (sculpins, sharks, squids, and octopuses) (Sec.  
679.21(d)(3)(iii)). Tables 16 and 17 list, respectively, the final 2014 
and 2015 apportionments of halibut PSC trawl limits between the trawl 
gear deep-water and the shallow-water species fishery categories. These 
limits are based on the reductions implemented by Amendment 95 (79 FR 
9625, February 20, 2014), which resulted in proportional reductions to 
the seasonal apportionments to the deep-water and shallow-water 
fishery.
    Table 28d to 50 CFR part 679 specifies the amount of halibut PSC 
that is assigned to the CV and C/P sectors that are participating in 
the Central GOA Rockfish Program. This includes 117 mt of halibut PSC 
to the CV sector and 74 mt of halibut PSC to the C/P sector. These 
amounts are allocated from the trawl deep-water species fishery's 
halibut PSC third seasonal apportionment.
    Section 679.21(d)(4)(iii)(B) limits the amount of the halibut PSC 
limit allocated to Rockfish Program participants that could be re-
apportioned to the general GOA trawl

[[Page 12905]]

fisheries to no more than 55 percent of the unused annual halibut PSC 
apportioned to Rockfish Program participants. The remainder of the 
unused Rockfish Program halibut PSC limit is unavailable for use by 
vessels directed fishing with trawl gear for the remainder of the 
fishing year.

Table 16--Final 2014 Apportionment of Pacific Halibut PSC Trawl Limits Between the Trawl Gear Deep-Water Species
                            Fishery and the Shallow-Water Species Fishery Categories
                                           [Values are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Season                                Shallow-water  Deep-water \1\       Total
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 20-April 1..............................................             416              92             508
April 1-July 1..................................................              92             277             369
July 1-September 1..............................................             185             370             555
September 1-October 1...........................................             139             (*)             139
Subtotal January 20-October 1...................................             832             739           1,571
October 1-December 31 \2\.......................................  ..............  ..............             277
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................  ..............  ..............           1,848
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Vessels participating in cooperatives in the Central GOA Rockfish Program will receive 191 mt of the third
  season (July 1 through September 1) deep-water species fishery halibut PSC apportionment.
\2\ There is no apportionment between trawl shallow-water and deep-water species fishery categories during the
  fifth season (October 1 through December 31).
* Any remainder.


Table 17--Final 2015 Apportionment of Pacific Halibut PSC Trawl Limits Between the Trawl Gear Deep-Water Species
                            Fishery and the Shallow-Water Species Fishery Categories
                                           [Values are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Season                                Shallow-water  Deep-water \1\       Total
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 20-April 1..............................................             396              88             484
April 1-July 1..................................................              88             264             352
July 1-September 1..............................................             176             352             528
September 1-October 1...........................................             132             (*)             132
Subtotal January 20-October 1...................................             792             704           1,496
October 1-December 31 \2\.......................................  ..............  ..............             264
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................  ..............  ..............           1,760
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Vessels participating in cooperatives in the Central GOA Rockfish Program will receive 191 mt of the third
  season (July 1 through September 1) deep-water species fishery halibut PSC apportionment.
\2\ There is no apportionment between trawl shallow-water and deep-water species fishery categories during the
  fifth season (October 1 through December 31).
* Any remainder.

    Section 679.21(d)(4) requires that the ``other than DSR'' halibut 
PSC apportionment to vessels using hook-and-line gear must be 
apportioned between CVs and C/Ps in accordance with Sec.  
679.21(d)(2)(iii) in conjunction with these harvest specifications. A 
comprehensive description and example of the calculations necessary to 
apportion the ``other than DSR'' hook-and-line halibut PSC limit 
between the hook-and-line CV and C/P sectors were included in the 
proposed rule to implement Amendment 83 (76 FR 44700, July 26, 2011) 
and are not repeated here.
    For 2014, NMFS apportions halibut PSC limits of 154 mt and 115 mt 
to the hook-and-line CV and hook-and-line C/P sectors, respectively. 
For 2015, NMFS apportions halibut PSC limits of 146 mt and 115 mt to 
the hook-and-line CV and hook-and-line C/P sectors, respectively. 
Tables 18 and 19 list, respectively, the final 2014 and 2015 
apportionments of halibut PSC limits between the hook-and-line CV and 
hook-and-line C/P sectors. These limits are based on the reductions 
implemented by Amendment 95 (79 FR 9625, February 20, 2014), which 
resulted in proportional reductions to the seasonal apportionments to 
these sectors.
    Pursuant to Sec.  679.21(d)(2)(iii), the hook-and-line halibut PSC 
limit is apportioned between the CV and C/P sectors in proportion to 
the total Western and Central GOA Pacific cod allocations, which vary 
annually based on the proportion of the Pacific cod biomass. Pacific 
cod is apportioned among these two management areas based on the 
percentage of overall biomass per area, as calculated in the 2013 
Pacific cod stock assessment. Updated information in the final 2013 
SAFE report describes this distributional change, which is based on 
allocating ABC among regulatory areas on the basis of the three most 
recent stock surveys. The distribution of the total GOA Pacific cod ABC 
has changed to 37 percent Western GOA, 60 percent Central GOA, and 3 
percent Eastern GOA. Therefore, the calculations made in accordance 
with Sec.  679.21(d)(2)(iii) incorporate the most recent change in GOA 
Pacific cod distribution with respect to establishing the annual 
halibut PSC limits for the CV and C/P hook-and-line sectors. The annual 
halibut PSC limits are divided into three seasonal apportionments, 
using seasonal percentages of 86 percent, 2 percent, and 12 percent. 
Tables 18 and 19 list, respectively, the 2014 and 2015 annual and 
seasonal halibut PSC apportionments between the hook-and-line sectors 
in the GOA.
    No later than November 1 of each year, NMFS will calculate the 
projected unused amount of halibut PSC limit by either of the hook-and-
line sectors for the remainder of the year. The projected unused amount 
of halibut PSC limit is made available to the other hook-and-line 
sector for the remainder of that fishing year if NMFS determines that 
an

[[Page 12906]]

additional amount of halibut PSC is necessary for that sector to 
continue its directed fishing operations (Sec.  679.21(d)(2)(iii)(C)).

 Table 18--Final 2014 Apportionments of the ``Other Hook-and-Line Fisheries'' Annual Halibut PSC Allowance Between the Hook-and-Line Gear Catcher Vessel
                                                              and Catcher/Processor Sectors
                                                               [Values are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                              Sector
  ``Other than DSR'' allowance       Hook-and-line sector       Percent of     Sector annual            Season               Seasonal        seasonal
                                                               annual amount      amount                                    percentage        amount
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
270.............................  Catcher Vessel............            57.3             154  January 1--June 10........              86             132
                                                              ..............  ..............  June 10-September 1.......               2               3
                                                              ..............  ..............  September 1-December 31...              12              18
                                  Catcher/Processor.........            42.7             115  January 1-June 10.........              86              99
                                                              ..............  ..............  June 10-September 1.......               2               2
                                                              ..............  ..............  September 1-December 31...              12              14
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


 Table 19--Final 2015 Apportionments of the ``Other Hook-and-Line Fisheries'' Annual Halibut PSC Allowance Between the Hook-and-Line Gear Catcher Vessel
                                                              and Catcher/Processor Sectors
                                                               [Values are in metric tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                              Sector
  ``Other than DSR'' allowance       Hook-and-line sector       Percent of     Sector annual            Season               Seasonal        seasonal
                                                               annual amount      amount                                    percentage        amount
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
261.............................  Catcher Vessel............            57.3             146  January 1-June 10.........              86             126
                                                              ..............  ..............  June 10-September 1.......               2               3
                                                              ..............  ..............  September 1-December 31...              12              18
                                  Catcher/Processor.........            42.7             115  January 1-June 10.........              86              99
                                                              ..............  ..............  June 10-September 1.......               2               2
                                                              ..............  ..............  September 1-December 31...              12              14
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Estimated Halibut Bycatch in Prior Years

    The best available information on estimated halibut bycatch 
consists of data collected by fisheries observers during 2013. The 
calculated halibut bycatch mortality by trawl and hook-and-line gear in 
2013 is 1,224 mt and 166 mt, respectively, for a total halibut 
mortality of 1,390 mt. Although these amounts are lower than the annual 
halibut PSC limits established in 2013, sector and or seasonal halibut 
PSC limits may affect specific fisheries. For example, halibut bycatch 
restrictions constrained trawl gear fisheries seasonally during the 
2013 fishing year. Table 20 lists the closure dates for fisheries that 
resulted from the attainment of seasonal or annual halibut PSC limits.

                 Table 20--2013 Fishery Closures Due to Attainment of Pacific Halibut PSC Limits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                             Federal Register
           Fishery category                  Opening date             Closure date               citation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trawl Deep-water,\1\ season 2........  April 1, 2013..........  May 18, 2013...........  78 FR 30242, May 22,
                                                                                          2013.
Hook-and-line gear, all sectors and    January 1, 2013........  Remained open entire     .......................
 targets \2\.                                                    year.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ With the exception of vessels participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program and vessels fishing for
  pollock using pelagic trawl gear.
\2\ With the exception of the sablefish fishery which was open March 23, 2013, through November 7, 2013.

Current Estimates of Halibut Biomass and Stock Condition

    The IPHC annually assesses the abundance and potential yield of the 
Pacific halibut using all available data from the commercial and sport 
fisheries, other removals, and scientific surveys. Additional 
information on the Pacific halibut stock assessment may be found in the 
IPHC's 2013 Pacific halibut stock assessment (December 2013), available 
on the IPHC Web site at www.iphc.int. The IPHC considered the 2013 
Pacific halibut stock assessment at its January 2014 annual meeting 
when it set the 2014 commercial halibut fishery catch limits.
    The halibut resource is fully utilized. Recent catches in the 
commercial halibut fisheries off Alaska have averaged 26,372 mt round 
weight per year for the last 10 years (2004 through 2013). In January 
2014, the IPHC recommended Alaska commercial catch limits totaling 
10,129 mt round weight for 2014, a 37 percent decrease from 13,908 mt 
in 2013. Through December 31, 2013, commercial hook-and-line harvests 
of halibut off Alaska totaled 13,277 mt round weight. For more 
information, see the proposed 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications (78 
FR 74079, December 10, 2013), which discusses the potential impacts of 
expected fishing for groundfish on halibut stocks, as well as methods

[[Page 12907]]

available for reducing halibut bycatch in the groundfish fisheries.

Halibut Discard Mortality Rates

    To monitor halibut bycatch mortality allowances and apportionments, 
the Regional Administrator uses observed halibut incidental catch 
rates, discard mortality 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 is implementing the Council's recommendation that the halibut 
DMRs developed and recommended by the IPHC for the 2013 through 2015 
GOA groundfish fisheries be used for monitoring the final 2014 and 2015 
halibut bycatch mortality allowances (see Tables 14 through 19). The 
IPHC developed the DMRs for the 2013 through 2015 GOA groundfish 
fisheries using the 10-year mean DMRs for those fisheries. Long-term 
average DMRs were not available for some fisheries, so rates from the 
most recent years were used. For the skate, sculpin, shark, squid, and 
octopus target fisheries, where not enough mortality data are 
available, the mortality rate of halibut caught in the Pacific cod 
fishery for that gear type was recommended as a default rate. 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 and how the IPHC establishes them is available from the 
Council (see ADDRESSES). Table 21 lists the final 2014 and 2015 DMRs. 
These DMRs are unchanged from the proposed 2014 and 2015 harvest 
specifications (78 FR 74079, December 10, 2013).

    Table 21--Final 2014 and 2015 Halibut Discard Mortality Rates for
                  Vessels Fishing in the Gulf of Alaska
           [Values are percent of halibut assumed to be dead]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Mortality rate
             Gear                  Target fishery             (%)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hook-and-line................  Other fisheries \1\..                  11
                               Skates...............                  11
                               Pacific cod..........                  11
                               Rockfish.............                   9
Trawl........................  Arrowtooth flounder..                  73
                               Deep-water flatfish..                  43
                               Flathead sole........                  65
                               Non-pelagic pollock..                  60
                               Other fisheries \1\..                  62
                               Pacific cod..........                  62
                               Pelagic pollock......                  71
                               Rex sole.............                  69
                               Rockfish.............                  66
                               Sablefish............                  71
                               Shallow-water                          67
                                flatfish.
Pot..........................  Other fisheries \1\..                  17
                               Pacific cod..........                  17
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Other fisheries includes all gear types for skates, sculpins,
  sharks, squids, octopuses, and hook-and-line sablefish.

Chinook Salmon Prohibited Species Catch Limits

    In 2012, NMFS issued a final rule to implement Amendment 93 to the 
GOA FMP (77 FR 42629, July 20, 2012). Amendment 93 established separate 
Chinook salmon PSC limits in the Western and Central GOA in the 
directed pollock fishery. These limits require NMFS to close the 
pollock directed fishery in the Western and Central regulatory areas of 
the GOA if the applicable limit is reached (Sec.  679.21(h)(6)). The 
annual Chinook salmon PSC limits in the pollock directed fishery of 
6,684 salmon in the Western GOA and 18,316 salmon in the Central GOA 
are set in regulation at Sec.  679.21(h)(2)(i) and (ii). In addition, 
all salmon (regardless of species) taken in the pollock directed 
fisheries in the Western and Central GOA must be retained until an 
observer at the processing facility that takes delivery of the catch is 
provided an opportunity to count the number of salmon and to collect 
any scientific data or biological samples from the salmon (Sec.  
679.21(h)(4)). American Fisheries Act C/P and CV Groundfish Harvest and 
PSC Limits
    Section 679.64 establishes groundfish harvesting and processing 
sideboard limitations on AFA C/Ps and CVs in the GOA. These sideboard 
limits are necessary to protect the interests of fishermen and 
processors who do not directly benefit from the AFA from those 
fishermen and processors who receive exclusive harvesting and 
processing privileges under the AFA. Section 679.7(k)(1)(ii) prohibits 
listed AFA C/Ps from harvesting any species of groundfish in the GOA. 
Additionally, Sec.  679.7(k)(1)(iv) prohibits listed AFA C/Ps from 
processing any pollock harvested in a directed pollock fishery in the 
GOA and any groundfish harvested in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA.
    AFA CVs that are less than 125 ft (38.1 meters) length overall, 
have annual landings of pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
less than 5,100 mt, and have made at least 40 groundfish landings from 
1995 through 1997 are exempt from GOA sideboard limits under Sec.  
679.64(b)(2)(ii). Sideboard limits for non-exempt AFA CVs in the GOA 
are based on their traditional harvest levels of TAC in groundfish 
fisheries covered by the FMP. Section 679.64(b)(3)(iii) establishes the 
groundfish sideboard limitations in the GOA based on the retained catch 
of non-exempt AFA CVs of each sideboard species from 1995 through 1997 
divided by the TAC for that species over the same period.
    Tables 22 and 23 list the final 2014 and 2015 groundfish sideboard 
limits for non-exempt AFA CVs. NMFS will deduct all targeted or 
incidental catch of sideboard species made by non-exempt AFA CVs from 
the sideboard limits listed in Tables 22 and 23.

[[Page 12908]]



   Table 22--Final 2014 GOA Non-Exempt American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel (CV) Groundfish Harvest Sideboard
                                                     Limits
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Ratio of 1995-
                                                                     1997 non-                    Final 2014 non-
           Species              Apportionments    Area/component   exempt AFA CV    Final 2014     exempt AFA CV
                                by  season/gear                   catch to 1995-       TACs          sideboard
                                                                     1997 TAC                          limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock......................  A Season January  Shumagin (610).          0.6047           4,800           2,903
                                20-March 10.     Chirikof (620).          0.1167          25,924           3,025
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.2028           8,680           1,760
                               B Season March    Shumagin (610).          0.6047           4,799           2,902
                                10-May 31.       Chirikof (620).          0.1167          30,963           3,613
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.2028           3,636             737
                               C Season August   Shumagin (610).          0.6047          13,235           8,003
                                25-October 1.    Chirikof (620).          0.1167          12,448           1,453
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.2028          13,720           2,782
                               D Season October  Shumagin (610).          0.6047          13,235           8,003
                                1-November 1.    Chirikof (620).          0.1167          12,448           1,453
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.2028          13,720           2,782
                               Annual..........  WYK (640)......          0.3495           4,741           1,657
                                                 SEO (650)......          0.3495          12,625           4,412
Pacific cod..................  A Season \1\      W..............          0.1331          13,753           1,831
                                January 1-June   C..............          0.0692          23,895           1,654
                                10.
                               B Season \2\      W..............          0.1331           9,169           1,220
                                September 1-
                                December 31.
                                                 C..............          0.0692          15,930           1,102
                               Annual            E inshore......          0.0079           1,792              14
                                                 E offshore.....          0.0078             199               2
Sablefish....................  Annual, trawl     W..............          0.0000             296               0
                                gear.
                                                 C..............          0.0642             936              60
                                                 E..............          0.0433             221              10
Flatfish, Shallow-water......  Annual..........  W..............          0.0156          13,250             207
                                                 C..............          0.0587          17,813           1,046
                                                 E..............          0.0126           2,616              33
Flatfish, deep-water.........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000             302               0
                                                 C..............          0.0647           3,727             241
                                                 E..............          0.0128           9,443             121
Rex sole.....................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0007           1,270               1
                                                 C..............          0.0384           6,231             239
                                                 E..............          0.0029           1,840               5
Arrowtooth Flounder..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0021          14,500              30
                                                 C..............          0.0280          75,000           2,100
                                                 E..............          0.0002          13,800               3
Flathead sole................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0036           8,650              31
                                                 C..............          0.0213          15,400             328
                                                 E..............          0.0009           3,696               3
Pacific ocean perch..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0023           2,399               6
                                                 C..............          0.0748          12,855             962
                                                 E..............          0.0466           4,055             189
Northern rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0003           1,305               0
                                                 C..............          0.0277           4,017             111
Shortraker rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000              92               0
                                                 C..............          0.0218             397               9
                                                 E..............          0.0110             834               9
Dusky rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0001             317               0
                                                 C..............          0.0000           3,584               0
                                                 E..............          0.0067           1,585              11
Rougheye rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000              82               0
                                                 C..............          0.0237             864              20
                                                 E..............          0.0124             298               4
Demersal shelf rockfish......  Annual..........  SEO............          0.0020             274               1
Thornyhead rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0280             235               7
                                                 C..............          0.0280             875              25
                                                 E..............          0.0280             731              20
Other rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0034             n/a             n/a
                                                 C..............          0.1699           1,031             175
                                                 E..............          0.0000             780               0
Atka mackerel................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0309           2,000              62
Big skates...................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0063             589               4
                                                 C..............          0.0063           1,532              10
                                                 E..............          0.0063           1,641              10
Longnose skates..............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0063             107               1
                                                 C..............          0.0063           1,935              12

[[Page 12909]]

 
                                                 E..............          0.0063             834               5
Other skates.................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           1,989              13
Sculpins.....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           5,569              35
Sharks.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           5,989              38
Squids.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           1,148               7
Octopuses....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           1,507              9
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.


   Table 23--Final 2015 GOA Non-Exempt American Fisheries Act Catcher Vessel (CV) Groundfish Harvest Sideboard
                                                     Limits
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Ratio of 1995-
                                                                     1997 non-                    Final 2015 non-
           Species              Apportionments    Area/component   exempt AFA CV    Final 2015     exempt AFA CV
                                by season/gear                    catch to 1995-       TACs          sideboard
                                                                     1997 TAC                          limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock......................  A Season January  Shumagin (610).          0.6047           5,357           3,239
                                20-March 10.     Chirikof (620).          0.1167          28,932           3,376
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.2028           9,687           1,965
                               B Season March    Shumagin (610).          0.6047           5,356           3,239
                                10-May 31.       Chirikof (620).          0.1167          34,555           4,032
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.2028           4,059             823
                               C Season August   Shumagin (610).          0.6047          14,771           8,932
                                25-October 1.    Chirikof (620).          0.1167          13,892           1,621
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.2028          15,311           3,105
                               D Season October  Shumagin (610).          0.6047          14,771           8,932
                                1-November 1.    Chirikof (620).          0.1167          13,892           1,621
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.2028          15,311           3,105
                               Annual..........  WYK (640)......          0.3495           5,291           1,849
                                                 SEO (650)......          0.3495          12,625           4,412
Pacific cod..................  A Season \1\      W..............          0.1331          13,069           1,740
                                January 1-June   C..............          0.0692          22,707           1,571
                                10.
                               B Season \2\      W..............          0.1331           8,713           1,160
                                September 1-
                                December 31.
                                                 C..............          0.0692          15,138           1,048
                               Annual..........  E inshore......          0.0079           1,703              13
                                                 E offshore.....          0.0078             189               1
Sablefish....................  Annual, trawl     W..............          0.0000             268               0
                                gear.
                                                 C..............          0.0642             846              54
                                                 E..............          0.0433             199               9
Flatfish, Shallow-water......  Annual..........  W..............          0.0156          13,250             207
                                                 C..............          0.0587          16,372             961
                                                 E..............          0.0126           2,405              30
Flatfish, deep-water.........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000             300               0
                                                 C..............          0.0647           3,680             238
                                                 E..............          0.0128           9,323             119
Rex sole deep-water..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0007           1,245               1
                                                 C..............          0.0384           6,106             234
                                                 E..............          0.0029           1,804               5
Arrowtooth flounder..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0021          14,500              30
                                                 C..............          0.0280          75,000           2,100
                                                 E..............          0.0002          13,800               3
Flathead sole................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0036           8,650              31
                                                 C..............          0.0213          15,400             328
                                                 E..............          0.0009           3,676               3
Pacific ocean perch..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0023           2,456               6
                                                 C..............          0.0748          13,158             984
                                                 E..............          0.0466           4,150             193
Northern Rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0003           1,229               0
                                                 C..............          0.0277           3,781             105
Shortraker rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000              92               0
                                                 C..............          0.0218             397               9

[[Page 12910]]

 
                                                 E..............          0.0110             834               9
Dusky rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0001             295               0
                                                 C..............          0.0000           3,318               0
                                                 E..............          0.0067           1,468              10
Rougheye rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000              83               0
                                                 C..............          0.0237             877              21
                                                 E..............          0.0124             302               4
Demersal shelf rockfish......  Annual..........  SEO............          0.0020             274               1
Thornyhead rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0280             235               7
                                                 C..............          0.0280             875              25
                                                 E..............          0.0280             731              20
Other Rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0034             n/a             n/a
                                                 C..............          0.1699           1,031             175
                                                 E..............          0.0000             780               0
Atka mackerel................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0309           2,000              62
Big skates...................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0063             589               4
                                                 C..............          0.0063           1,532              10
                                                 E..............          0.0063           1,641              10
Longnose skates..............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0063             107               1
                                                 C..............          0.0063           1,935              12
                                                 E..............          0.0063             834               5
Other skates.................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           1,989              13
Sculpins.....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           5,569              35
Squids.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           5,989              38
Sharks.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           1,148               7
Octopuses....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0063           1,507               9
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.

Non-Exempt AFA Catcher Vessel Halibut PSC Limits

    The halibut PSC sideboard limits for non-exempt AFA CVs in the GOA 
are based on the aggregate retained groundfish catch by non-exempt AFA 
CVs in each PSC target category from 1995 through 1997 divided by the 
retained catch of all vessels in that fishery from 1995 through 1997 
(Sec.  679.64(b)(4)). Tables 24 and 25 list the final 2014 and 2015 
non-exempt AFA CV halibut PSC limits for vessels using trawl gear in 
the GOA, respectively. These halibut PSC limits are reduced from the 
proposed 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications to incorporate reductions 
to the trawl sector's halibut PSC limit implemented by Amendment 95, as 
described earlier.

  Table 24--Final 2014 Non-Exempt AFA CV Halibut Prohibited Species Catch (PSC) Limits for Vessels Using Trawl
                                                 Gear in the GOA
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Ratio of 1995-
                                                                     1997 non-
                                                                   exempt AFA CV                     2014 Non-
       Season             Season dates         Target fishery     retained catch  2014 PSC Limit   exempt AFA CV
                                                                     to total                        PSC limit
                                                                  retained catch
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1..................  January 20-April 1...  shallow-water.......           0.340             444             151
                                            deep-water                     0.070              99               7
2..................  April 1-July 2.......  shallow-water.......           0.340              99              34
                                            deep-water                     0.070             296              21
3..................  July 1-September 1...  shallow-water.......           0.340             197              67
                                            deep-water                     0.070             395              28
4..................  September 1-October 1  shallow-water.......           0.340             148              50
                                            deep-water                     0.070               0               0
5..................  October 1-December 31  all targets.........           0.205             296              61
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 12911]]


  Table 25--Final 2015 Non-Exempt AFA CV Halibut Prohibited Species Catch (PSC) Limits for Vessels Using Trawl
                                                 Gear in the GOA
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Ratio of 1995-
                                                                     1997 non-
                                                                   exempt AFA CV                     2015 non-
       Season             Season dates         Target fishery     retained catch  2015 PSC limit   exempt AFA CV
                                                                     to total                        PSC limit
                                                                  retained catch
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1..................  January 20-April 1...  shallow-water.......           0.340             396             135
                                            deep-water                     0.070              88               6
2..................  April 1-July 1.......  shallow-water.......           0.340              88              30
                                            deep-water                     0.070             264              18
3..................  July 1-September 1...  shallow-water.......           0.340             176              60
                                            deep-water                     0.070             352              25
4..................  September 1-October 1  shallow-water.......           0.340             132              45
                                            deep-water                     0.070               0               0
5..................  October 1-December 31  all targets.........           0.205             264              54
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Non-AFA Crab Vessel Groundfish Harvest Limitations

    Section 680.22 establishes groundfish catch limits for vessels with 
a history of participation in the Bering Sea snow crab fishery to 
prevent these vessels from using the increased flexibility provided by 
the Crab Rationalization Program to expand their level of participation 
in the GOA groundfish fisheries. Sideboard limits restrict these 
vessels' catch to their collective historical landings in each GOA 
groundfish fishery (except the fixed-gear sablefish fishery). Sideboard 
limits also apply to catch made using an LLP license derived from the 
history of a restricted vessel, even if that LLP license is used on 
another vessel.
    The basis for these sideboard limits is described in detail in the 
final rules implementing the major provisions of the Allocation of 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crab Fishery Resources 
(70 FR 10174, March 2, 2005), Amendment 34 to the Fishery Management 
Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Island King and Tanner Crabs (76 FR 35772, 
June 20, 2011), and Amendment 83 to the GOA FMP (76 FR 74670, December 
1, 2011).
    Tables 26 and 27 list the final 2014 and 2015 groundfish sideboard 
limitations for non-AFA crab vessels. All targeted or incidental catch 
of sideboard species made by non-AFA crab vessels or associated LLP 
licenses will be deducted from these sideboard limits.

       Table 26--Final 2014 GOA Non-American Fisheries Act Crab Vessel Groundfish Harvest Sideboard Limits
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Ratio of 1996-
                                                                   2000 non-AFA                   Final 2014 non-
                                                 Area/component/    crab vessel     Final 2014       AFA crab
           Species                Season/gear          gear       catch to 1996-       TACs           vessel
                                                                    2000 total                       sideboard
                                                                      harvest                          limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock......................  A Season January  Shumagin (610).          0.0098           4,800              47
                                20-March 10.     Chirikof (620).          0.0031          25,924              80
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002           8,680               2
                               B Season March    Shumagin (610).          0.0098           4,799              47
                                10-May 31.       Chirikof (620).          0.0031          30,963              96
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002           3,636               1
                               C Season August   Shumagin (610).          0.0098          13,235             130
                                25-October 1.    Chirikof (620).          0.0031          12,448              39
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002          13,720               3
                               D Season October  Shumagin (610).          0.0098          13,235             130
                                1-November 1.    Chirikof (620).          0.0031          12,448              39
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002          13,720               3
                               Annual..........  WYK (640)......          0.0000           4,741               0
                                                 SEO (650)......          0.0000          12,625               0
Pacific cod..................  A Season \1\      W Jig..........          0.0000          13,753               0
                                January 1-June   W Hook-and-line          0.0004          13,753               6
                                10.               CV.
                                                 W Hook-and-line          0.0018          13,753              25
                                                  C/P.
                                                 W Pot CV.......          0.0997          13,753           1,371
                                                 W Pot C/P......          0.0078          13,753             107
                                                 W Trawl CV.....          0.0007          13,753              10
                                                 C Jig..........          0.0000          23,895               0
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0001          23,895               2
                                                  CV.
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0012          23,895              29
                                                  C/P.
                                                 C Pot CV.......          0.0474          23,895           1,133
                                                 C Pot C/P......          0.0136          23,895             325
                                                 C Trawl CV.....          0.0012          23,895              29
                               B Season \2\....  W Jig..........          0.0000           9,169               0

[[Page 12912]]

 
                               Jig Gear: June    W Hook-and-line          0.0004           9,169               4
                                10-December 31.   CV.                     0.0001           9,169              17
                                                 W Hook-and-line
                                                  C/P.
                               All other gears:  W Pot CV.......          0.0997      9,1699,169             914
                                September 1-     W Pot C/P......          0.0078           9,169              72
                                December 31.     W Trawl CV.....          0.0007                               6
                                                 C Jig..........          0.0000          15,930               0
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0001          15,930               2
                                                  CV.
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0012          15,930              19
                                                  C/P.
                                                 C Pot CV.......          0.0474          15,930             755
                                                 C Pot C/P......          0.0136          15,930             217
                                                 C Trawl CV.....          0.0012          15,930              19
                               Annual..........  E inshore......          0.0110           1,792              20
                                                 E offshore.....          0.0000             199               0
Sablefish....................  Annual, trawl     W..............          0.0000             296               0
                                gear.
                                                 C..............          0.0000             936               0
                                                 E..............          0.0000             221               0
Flatfish, shallow-water......  Annual..........  W..............          0.0059          13,250              78
                                                 C..............          0.0001          17,813               2
                                                 E..............          0.0000           2,616               0
Flatfish, deep-water.........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0035             302               1
                                                 C..............          0.0000           3,727               0
                                                 E..............          0.0000           9,443               0
Rex sole.....................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000           1,270               0
                                                 C..............          0.0000           6,231               0
                                                 E..............          0.0000           1,840               0
Arrowtooth flounder..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0004          14,500               6
                                                 C..............          0.0001          75,000               8
                                                 E..............          0.0000          13,800               0
Flathead sole................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0002           8,650               2
                                                 C..............          0.0004          15,400               6
                                                 E..............          0.0000           3,696               0
Pacific ocean perch..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000           2,399               0
                                                 C..............          0.0000          12,855               0
                                                 E..............          0.0000           4,055               0
Northern rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0005           1,305               1
                                                 C..............          0.0000           4,017               0
Shortraker rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0013              92               0
                                                 C..............          0.0012             397               0
                                                 E..............          0.0009             834               1
Dusky rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0017             317               1
                                                 C..............          0.0000           3,584               0
                                                 E..............          0.0000           1,585               0
Rougheye rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0067              82               1
                                                 C..............          0.0047             864               4
                                                 E..............          0.0008             298               0
Demersal shelf rockfish......  Annual..........  SEO............          0.0000             274               0
Thornyhead rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0047             235               1
                                                 C..............          0.0066             875               6
                                                 E..............          0.0045             731               3
Other rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0035               0               0
                                                 C..............          0.0033           1,031               3
                                                 E..............          0.0000             780               0
Atka mackerel................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0000           2,000               0
Big skate....................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0392             589              23
                                                 C..............          0.0159           1,532              24
                                                 E..............          0.0000           1,641               0
Longnose skate...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0392             107               4
                                                 C..............          0.0159           1,935              31
                                                 E..............          0.0000             834               0
Other skates.................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           1,989              35
Sculpins.....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           5,569              98
Sharks.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           5,989             105
Squids.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           1,148              20
Octopuses....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           1,507             27
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.

[[Page 12913]]

 
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.


       Table 27--Final 2015 GOA Non-American Fisheries Act Crab Vessel Groundfish Harvest Sideboard Limits
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Ratio of 1996-
                                                                   2000 non-AFA                   Final 2015 non-
                                                 Area/component/    crab vessel     Final 2015       AFA crab
           Species                Season/gear          gear       catch to 1996-       TACs           vessel
                                                                    2000 total                       sideboard
                                                                      harvest                          limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock......................  A Season January  Shumagin (610).          0.0098           5,357              52
                                20--March 10.    Chirikof (620).          0.0031          28,932              90
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002           9,687               2
                               B Season March    Shumagin (610).          0.0098           5,356              52
                                10-May 31.
                                                 Chirikof (620).          0.0031          34,555             107
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002           4,059               1
                               C Season August   Shumagin (610).          0.0098          14,771             145
                                25-October 1.    Chirikof (620).          0.0031          13,892              43
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002          15,311               3
                               D Season October  Shumagin (610).          0.0098          14,771             145
                                1-November 1.    Chirikof (620).          0.0031          13,892              43
                                                 Kodiak (630)...          0.0002          15,311               3
                               Annual..........  WYK (640)......          0.0000           5,291               0
                                                 SEO (650)......          0.0000          12,625               0
Pacific cod..................  A Season \1\      W Jig..........          0.0000          13,069               0
                                January 1-June   W Hook-and-Line          0.0000          13,069               5
                                10.               CV.
                                                 W Hook-and-line          0.0018          13,069              24
                                                  C/P.
                                                 W Pot CV.......          0.0997          13,069           1,303
                                                 W Pot C/P......          0.0078          13,069             102
                                                 W Trawl CV.....          0.0007          13,069               9
                                                 C Jig..........          0.0000          22,707               0
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0001          22,707               2
                                                  CV.
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0012          22,707              27
                                                  C/P.
                                                 C Pot CV.......          0.0474          22,707           1,076
                                                 C Pot C/P......          0.0136          22,707             309
                                                 C Trawl CV.....          0.0012          22,707              27
                               B Season \2\....  W Jig..........          0.0000           8,713               0
                                                 W Hook-and-line          0.0004           8,713               3
                                                  CV.
                               Jig Gear: June    W Hook-and-line          0.0018           8,713              16
                                10-December 31.   C/P.                    0.0997           8,713             869
                                                 W Pot CV.......
                               All other gears:  W Pot C/P......          0.0078           8,713              68
                                September 1-     W Trawl CV.....          0.0007           8,713               6
                                December 31.
                                                 C Jig..........          0.0000          15,138               0
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0001          15,138               2
                                                  CV.
                                                 C Hook-and-line          0.0012          15,138              18
                                                  C/P.
                                                 C Pot CV.......          0.0474          15,138             718
                                                 C Pot C/P......          0.0136          15,138             206
                                                 C Trawl CV.....          0.0012          15,138              18
                               Annual..........  E inshore......          0.0110           1,703              19
                                                 E offshore.....          0.0000             189               0
Sablefish....................  Annual, trawl     W..............          0.0000             268               0
                                gear.
                                                 C..............          0.0000             846               0
                                                 E..............          0.0000             199               0
Flatfish, shallow-water......  Annual..........  W..............          0.0059          13,250              78
                                                 C..............          0.0001          16,372               2
                                                 E..............          0.0000           2,405               0
Flatfish, deep-water.........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0035             300               1
                                                 C..............          0.0000           3,680               0
                                                 E..............          0.0000           9,323               0
Rex sole.....................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000           1,245               0
                                                 C..............          0.0000           6,106               0
                                                 E..............          0.0000           1,804               0
Arrowtooth flounder..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0004          14,500               6
                                                 C..............          0.0001          75,000               8
                                                 E..............          0.0000          13,800               0
Flathead sole................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0002           8,650               2
                                                 C..............          0.0004          15,400               6
                                                 E..............          0.0000           3,676               0
Pacific ocean perch..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0000           2,456               0
                                                 C..............          0.0000          13,158               0
                                                 E..............          0.0000           4,150               0
Northern rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0005           1,229               1
                                                 C..............          0.0000           3,781               0

[[Page 12914]]

 
Shortraker rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0013              92               0
                                                 C..............          0.0012             397               0
                                                 E..............          0.0009             834               1
Dusky rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0017             295               1
                                                 C..............          0.0000           3,318               0
                                                 E..............          0.0000           1,468               0
Rougheye rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0067              83               1
                                                 C..............          0.0047             877               4
                                                 E..............          0.0008             302               0
Demersal shelf rockfish......  Annual..........  SEO............          0.0000             274               0
Thornyhead rockfish..........  Annual..........  W..............          0.0047             235               1
                                                 C..............          0.0066             875               6
                                                 E..............          0.0045             731               3
Other rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0035               0               0
                                                 C..............          0.0033           1,031               3
                                                 E..............          0.0000             780               0
Atka mackerel................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0000           2,000               0
Big skate....................  Annual..........  W..............          0.0392             589              23
                                                 C..............          0.0159           1,532              24
                                                 E..............          0.0000           1,641               0
Longnose skate...............  Annual..........  W..............          0.0392             107               4
                                                 C..............          0.0159           1,935              31
                                                 E..............          0.0000             834               0
Other skates.................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           1,989              35
Sculpins.....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           5,569              98
Sharks.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           5,989             105
Squids.......................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           1,148              20
Octopuses....................  Annual..........  Gulfwide.......          0.0176           1,507             27
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.

Rockfish Program Groundfish Sideboard and Halibut PSC Limitations

    The Rockfish Program establishes three classes of sideboard 
provisions: CV groundfish sideboard restrictions, C/P rockfish 
sideboard restrictions, and C/P opt-out vessel sideboard restrictions. 
These sideboards are intended to limit the ability of rockfish 
harvesters to expand into other fisheries.
    CVs participating in the Rockfish Program may not participate in 
directed fishing for dusky rockfish, Pacific ocean perch, and northern 
rockfish in the West Yakutat district and Western GOA from July 1 
through July 31. Also, CVs may not participate in directed fishing for 
arrowtooth flounder, deep-water flatfish, and rex sole in the GOA from 
July 1 through July 31 (Sec.  679.82(d)).
    Catcher/processors participating in Rockfish Program cooperatives 
are restricted by rockfish and halibut PSC limits. These C/Ps are 
prohibited from directed fishing for dusky rockfish, Pacific ocean 
perch, and northern rockfish in the West Yakutat district and Western 
GOA from July 1 through July 31. Holders of C/P-designated LLP licenses 
that opt-out of participating in a Rockfish Program cooperative will be 
able to access that portion of each sideboard limit that is not 
assigned to rockfish cooperatives. Tables 28 and 29 list the final 2014 
and 2015 Rockfish Program C/P sideboard limits in the West Yakutat 
district and the Western GOA. Due to confidentiality requirements 
associated with fisheries data, the sideboard limits for the West 
Yakutat district are not displayed.

 Table 28--Final 2014 Rockfish Program Harvest Limits by Sector for West Yakutat District and Western GOA by the
                                            Catcher/Processor Sector
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        C/P sector (% of                        Final 2014 C/P
              Area                      Fishery               TAC)          Final 2014 TACs          limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
West Yakutat District...........  Dusky rockfish.....  Confidential \1\..              1,384  Confidential.\1\
                                  Pacific ocean perch  Confidential \1\..              1,931  Confidential.\1\
Western GOA.....................  Dusky rockfish.....  72.3..............                317  229.
                                  Pacific ocean perch  50.6..............              2,399  1,214.
                                  Northern rockfish..  74.3..............              1,305  970.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Not released due to confidentiality requirements associated with fish ticket data, as established by NMFS
  and the State of Alaska.


[[Page 12915]]


 Table 29--Final 2015 Rockfish Program Harvest Limits by Sector for West Yakutat District and Western GOA by the
                                            Catcher/Processor Sector
                                 [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        C/P sector (% of                        Final 2015 C/P
              Area                      Fishery               TAC)          Final 2015 TACs          limit
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
West Yakutat District...........  Dusky rockfish.....  Confidential \1\..              1,277  Confidential.\1\
                                  Pacific ocean perch  Confidential \1\..              1,976  Confidential.\1\
Western GOA.....................  Dusky rockfish.....  72.3..............                295  213.
                                  Pacific ocean perch  50.6..............              2,456  1,243.
                                  Northern rockfish..  74.3..............              1,229  913.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Not released due to confidentiality requirements associated with fish ticket data, as established by NMFS
  and the State of Alaska.

    Under the Rockfish Program, the C/P sector is subject to halibut 
PSC sideboard limits for the trawl deep-water and shallow-water species 
fisheries from July 1 through July 31. No halibut PSC sideboard limits 
apply to the CV sector, as vessels participating in cooperatives 
receive a portion of the annual halibut PSC limit. C/Ps that opt-out of 
the Rockfish Program would be able to access that portion of the deep-
water and shallow-water halibut PSC sideboard limit not assigned to C/P 
rockfish cooperatives. The sideboard provisions for C/Ps that elect to 
opt-out of participating in a rockfish cooperative are described in 
Sec.  679.82(c), (e), and (f). Sideboards are linked to the catch 
history of specific vessels that may choose to opt-out. After March 1, 
NMFS will determine which C/Ps have opted-out of the Rockfish Program 
in 2014, and will know the ratios and amounts used to calculate opt-out 
sideboard ratios. NMFS will then calculate any applicable opt-out 
sideboards and post these allocations on the Alaska Region Web site at 
http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/goarat/default.htm). Tables 30 and 31 list the 2014 and 2015 Rockfish Program 
halibut PSC limits for the catcher/processor sector. These halibut PSC 
limits are reduced from the proposed 2014 and 2015 harvest 
specifications to incorporate reductions implemented under Amendment 
95, as described earlier.

                             Table 30--Final 2014 Rockfish Program Halibut Mortality Limits for the Catcher/Processor Sector
                                                     [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      Shallow-water      Deep-water                     Annual shallow-    Annual deep-
                                                                     species fishery  species fishery    2014 halibut    water species    water species
                               Sector                                  halibut PSC      halibut PSC    mortality limit  fishery halibut  fishery halibut
                                                                     sideboard ratio  sideboard ratio        (mt)        PSC sideboard    PSC sideboard
                                                                        (percent)        (percent)                        limit  (mt)      limit  (mt)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Catcher/processor..................................................            0.10             2.50            1,848                2               46
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                             Table 31--Final 2015 Rockfish Program Halibut Mortality Limits for the Catcher/Processor Sector
                                                     [Values are rounded to the nearest metric ton]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      Shallow-water      Deep-water                     Annual shallow-    Annual deep-
                                                                     species fishery  species fishery    2015 halibut    water species    water species
                               Sector                                  halibut PSC      halibut PSC    mortality limit  fishery halibut  fishery halibut
                                                                     sideboard ratio  sideboard ratio        (mt)        PSC sideboard    PSC sideboard
                                                                        (percent)        (percent)                        limit  (mt)      limit  (mt)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Catcher/processor..................................................            0.10             2.50            1,759                2               44
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Amendment 80 Program Groundfish and PSC Sideboard Limits

    Amendment 80 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (Amendment 80 Program) 
established a limited access privilege program for the non-AFA trawl C/
P sector. The Amendment 80 Program established groundfish and halibut 
PSC catch limits for Amendment 80 Program participants to limit the 
ability of participants eligible for the Amendment 80 Program to expand 
their harvest efforts in the GOA.
    Section 679.92 establishes groundfish harvesting sideboard limits 
on all Amendment 80 program vessels, other than the F/V GOLDEN FLEECE, 
to amounts no greater than the limits listed in Table 37 to 50 CFR part 
679. Under regulations at Sec.  679.92(d), the F/V GOLDEN FLEECE is 
prohibited from directed fishing for pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific 
ocean perch, dusky rockfish, and northern rockfish in the GOA.
    Groundfish sideboard limits for Amendment 80 Program vessels 
operating in the GOA are based on their average aggregate harvests from 
1998 through 2004. Tables 32 and 33 list the final 2014 and 2015 
sideboard limits for Amendment 80 Program vessels. These limits are 
based on the final 2014 and 2015 TACs established by this action, and 
thus may differ proportionately from the sideboard limits in the 
proposed harvest specifications. NMFS will deduct all targeted or 
incidental catch of sideboard species made by Amendment 80 Program 
vessels from the sideboard limits in Tables 32 and 33.

[[Page 12916]]



              Table 32--Final 2014 GOA Groundfish Sideboard Limits for Amendment 80 Program Vessels
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Ratio of
                                Apportionments                     amendment 80                   2014 amendment
           Species              and allocations        Area       sector vessels   2014 TAC (mt)     80 vessel
                                   by season                         1998-2004                      sideboards
                                                                   catch to TAC                        (mt)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock......................  A Season January  Shumagin (610).           0.003           4,800              14
                                20-February 25.  Chirikof (620).           0.002          25,924              52
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002           8,680              17
                               B Season March    Shumagin (610).           0.003           4,799              14
                                10-May 31.       Chirikof (620).           0.002          30,963              62
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002           3,636               7
                               C Season August   Shumagin (610).           0.003          13,235              40
                                25-September 15. Chirikof (620).           0.002          12,448              25
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002          13,720              27
                               D Season October  Shumagin (610).           0.003          13,235              40
                                1-November 1.    Chirikof (620).           0.002          12,448              25
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002          13,720              27
                               Annual..........  WYK (640)......           0.002           4,741               9
Pacific cod..................  A Season \1\      W..............           0.020          13,753             275
                                January 1-June   C..............           0.044          23,895           1,051
                                10.
                               B Season \2\      W..............           0.020           9,169             183
                                September 1-     C..............           0.044          15,930             701
                                December 31.
                               Annual..........  WYK............           0.034           1,991              68
Pacific ocean perch..........  Annual..........  W..............           0.994           2,399           2,385
                                                 WYK............           0.961           1,931           1,856
Northern rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............           1.000           1,305           1,305
Dusky rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............           0.764             317             242
                                                 WYK............           0.896           1,384           1,240
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.


              Table 33--Final 2015 GOA Groundfish Sideboard Limits for Amendment 80 Program Vessels
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Ratio of
                                Apportionments                     amendment 80                   2015 amendment
           Species              and allocations        Area       sector vessels   2015 TAC (mt)     80 vessel
                                   by season                         1998-2004                      sideboards
                                                                   catch to TAC                        (mt)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock......................  A Season January  Shumagin (610).           0.003           5,357              16
                                20-February 25.  Chirikof (620).           0.002          28,932              58
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002           9,687              19
                               B Season March    Shumagin (610).           0.003           5,356              16
                                10-May 31.       Chirikof (620).           0.002          34,554              69
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002           4,059               8
                               C Season August   Shumagin (610).           0.003          14,771              44
                                25-September 15. Chirikof (620).           0.002          13,892              28
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002          15,311              31
                               D Season October  Shumagin (610).           0.003          14,771              44
                                1-November 1.    Chirikof (620).           0.002          13,892              28
                                                 Kodiak (630)...           0.002          15,311              31
                               Annual..........  WYK (640)......           0.002           5,291              11
Pacific cod..................  A Season \1\      W..............           0.020          13,069             261
                                January 1-June   C..............           0.044          22,707             999
                                10.
                               B Season \2\      W..............           0.020           8,713             174
                                September 1-     C..............           0.044          15,138             666
                                December 31.
                               Annual..........  WYK............           0.034           1,892              64
Pacific ocean perch..........  Annual..........  W..............           0.994           2,456           2,441
                                                 WYK............           0.961           1,976           1,899
Northern rockfish............  Annual..........  W..............           1.000           1,229           1,229
Dusky rockfish...............  Annual..........  W..............           0.764             295             225
                                                 WYK............           0.896           1,277           1,144
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Pacific cod A season for trawl gear does not open until January 20.
\2\ The Pacific cod B season for trawl gear closes November 1.

    The PSC sideboard limits for Amendment 80 Program vessels in the 
GOA are based on the historic use of halibut PSC by Amendment 80 
Program vessels in each PSC target category from 1998 through 2004. 
These values are slightly lower than the average historic use to 
accommodate two factors: Allocation of halibut PSC cooperative

[[Page 12917]]

quota under the Central GOA Rockfish Program and the exemption of the 
F/V GOLDEN FLEECE from this restriction (Sec.  679.92(b)(2)). Tables 34 
and 35 list the final 2014 and 2015 halibut PSC limits for Amendment 80 
Program vessels, as contained in Table 38 to 50 CFR part 679. These 
halibut PSC limits are reduced from the proposed 2014 and 2015 harvest 
specifications to incorporate the trawl sector's halibut PSC limit 
reductions, as described earlier.

               Table 34--Final 2014 Halibut PSC Limits for Amendment 80 Program Vessels in the GOA
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Historic
                                                                   amendment 80
                                                                    use of the      2014 annual   2014 amendment
       Season             Season dates         Target fishery     annual halibut  PSC limit (mt)   80 vessel PSC
                                                                     PSC limit                         limit
                                                                  catch  (ratio)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1..................  January 20-April 1...  shallow-water.......          0.0048           1,848               9
                                            deep-water..........          0.0115           1,848              21
2..................  April 1-July 1.......  shallow-water.......          0.0189           1,848              35
                                            deep-water..........          0.1072           1,848             198
3..................  July 1-September 1...  shallow-water.......          0.0146           1,848              27
                                            deep-water..........          0.0521           1,848              96
4..................  September 1-October 1  shallow-water.......          0.0074           1,848              14
                                            deep-water..........          0.0014           1,848               3
5..................  October 1-December 31  shallow-water.......          0.0227           1,848              42
                                            deep-water..........          0.0371           1,848              69
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


               Table 35--Final 2015 Halibut PSC Limits for Amendment 80 Program Vessels in the GOA
                                   [Values are rounded to nearest metric ton]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Historic
                                                                   amendment 80                        2014
                                                                    use of the      2014 annual    amendment 80
       Season             Season dates         Target fishery     annual halibut  PSC limit (mt)    vessel PSC
                                                                     PSC limit                         limit
                                                                   catch (ratio)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1..................  January 20-April 1...  shallow-water.......          0.0048           1,759               8
                                            deep-water..........          0.0115           1,759              20
2..................  April 1-July 1.......  shallow-water.......          0.0189           1,759              33
                                            deep-water..........          0.1072           1,759             189
3..................  July 1-September 1...  shallow-water.......          0.0146           1,759              26
                                            deep-water..........          0.0521           1,759              92
4..................  September 1-October 1  shallow-water.......          0.0074           1,759              13
                                            deep-water..........          0.0014           1,759               2
5..................  October 1-December 31  shallow-water.......          0.0227           1,759              40
                                            deep-water..........          0.0371           1,759              65
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Directed Fishing Closures

    Pursuant to Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), if the Regional Administrator 
determines (1) that any allocation or apportionment of a target species 
or species group allocated or apportioned to a fishery will be reached; 
or (2) with respect to pollock and Pacific cod, that an allocation or 
apportionment to an inshore or offshore component or sector allocation 
will be reached, the Regional Administrator may establish a directed 
fishing allowance (DFA) for that species or species group. If the 
Regional Administrator establishes a DFA and that allowance is or will 
be reached before the end of the fishing year, NMFS will prohibit 
directed fishing for that species or species group in the specified GOA 
regulatory area or district (Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii)).
    The Regional Administrator has determined that the TACs for the 
species listed in Table 36 are necessary to account for the incidental 
catch of these species in other anticipated groundfish fisheries for 
the 2014 and 2015 fishing years.

      Table 36--2014 and 2015 Directed Fishing Closures in the GOA
 [Amounts for incidental catch in other directed fisheries are in metric
                                  tons]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Area/component/    Incidental catch
             Target                      gear               amount
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pollock.........................  all/offshore......   \1\not applicable
Sablefish \2\...................  all/trawl.........        1,453 (2014)
                                                            1,313 (2015)
Pacific cod.....................  Western, catcher/           536 (2014)
                                   processor, trawl.          510 (2015)

[[Page 12918]]

 
Shortraker rockfish \2\.........  all...............               1,323
Other rockfish..................  all...............               1,811
Rougheye rockfish \2\...........  all...............        1,244 (2014)
                                                            1,262 (2015)
Thornyhead rockfish.............  all...............               1,841
Atka mackerel...................  all...............               2,000
Big skate.......................  all...............               3,762
Longnose skate..................  all...............               2,876
Other skates....................  all...............               1,989
Sharks..........................  all...............               5,989
Squids..........................  all...............               1,148
Octopuses.......................  all...............               1,507
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Pollock is closed to directed fishing in the GOA by the offshore
  component under Sec.   679.20(a)(6)(i).
\2\ Closures not applicable to participants in cooperatives conducted
  under the Central GOA Rockfish Program.

    Consequently, in accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(i), the 
Regional Administrator establishes the DFA for the species or species 
groups listed in Table 36 as zero mt. Therefore, in accordance with 
Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for those 
species, areas, gear types, and components in the GOA listed in Table 
36. These closures will remain in effect through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., 
December 31, 2015.
    Section 679.64(b)(5) provides for management of AFA CV groundfish 
harvest limits and PSC bycatch limits using directed fishing closures 
and PSC closures according to procedures set out at Sec. Sec.  
679.20(d)(1)(iv), 679.21(d)(8), and 679.21(e)(3)(v). The Regional 
Administrator has determined that, in addition to the closures listed 
above, many of the non-exempt AFA CV sideboard limits listed in Tables 
22 and 23 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 
sets the DFAs for the species and species groups in Table 37 at zero 
mt. Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  679.20(d)(1)(iii), NMFS is 
prohibiting directed fishing by non-exempt AFA CVs in the GOA for the 
species and specified areas listed in Table 37. These closures will 
remain in effect through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2015.

   Table 37--2014 and 2015 Non-Exempt AFA CV Sideboard Directed Fishing Closures for All Gear Types in the GOA
                  [Amounts for incidental catch in other directed fisheries are in metric tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Species                   Regulatory area/district             Incidental catch amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific cod............................  Eastern...................  14 (inshore) and 2 (offshore) in 2014.
                                                                     13 (inshore) and 1 (offshore) in 2015.
Shallow-water flatfish.................  Eastern...................  33 in 2014, 30 in 2015.
Deep-water flatfish....................  Western...................  0.
Rex sole...............................  Eastern and Western.......  5 and 1.
Arrowtooth flounder....................  Eastern and Western.......  3 and 30.
Flathead sole..........................  Eastern and Western.......  3 and 31.
Pacific ocean perch....................  Western...................  6.
Northern rockfish......................  Western...................  0.
Dusky rockfish.........................  Entire GOA................  11 in 2014, 10 in 2015.
Demersal shelf rockfish................  SEO District..............  1.
Sculpins...............................  Entire GOA................  35.
Squids.................................  Entire GOA................  7.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 680.22 provides for the management of non-AFA crab vessel 
sideboards using directed fishing closures in accordance with Sec.  
680.22(e)(2) and (3). The Regional Administrator has determined that 
the non-AFA crab vessel sideboards listed in Tables 26 and 27 are 
insufficient to support a directed fishery and has set the sideboard 
DFA at zero mt, with the exception of Pacific cod pot CV sector 
apportionments in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas. Therefore, 
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing by non-AFA crab vessels in the GOA 
for all species and species groups listed in Tables 26 and 27, with the 
exception of the Pacific cod pot CV sector apportionments in the 
Western and Central Regulatory Areas.
    Closures implemented under the 2013 and 2014 GOA harvest 
specifications for groundfish (78 FR 13162, February 26, 2013) remain 
effective under authority of these final 2014 and 2015 harvest 
specifications, and are posted at the following Web site: http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/cm/info_bulletins/. While these closures 
are in effect, the maximum retainable amounts at Sec.  679.20(e) and 
(f) apply at any time during a fishing trip. These closures to directed 
fishing are in addition to closures and prohibitions found in 
regulations at 50 CFR part 679. NMFS may implement other closures 
during

[[Page 12919]]

the 2014 and 2015 fishing years as necessary for effective conservation 
and management.

Comments and Response

    NMFS did not receive any comments in response to the proposed 2014 
and 2015 harvest specifications (78 FR 74079, December 10, 2013).

Classification

    NMFS has determined that these final harvest specifications are 
consistent with the FMP and with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other 
applicable laws.
    This action is authorized under 50 CFR 679.20 and is exempt from 
review under

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    NMFS prepared an EIS for this action (see ADDRESSES) and made it 
available to the public on January 12, 2007 (72 FR 1512). On February 
13, 2007, NMFS issued the Record of Decision (ROD) for the EIS. In 
January 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 preferred alternative is a harvest strategy in which 
TACs are set at a level that falls within the range of ABCs recommended 
by the Council's SSC; the sum of the TACs must achieve the OY specified 
in the FMP. 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, 5 U.S.C. 
601 et seq., a FRFA was prepared for this action. The FRFA incorporates 
information contained in the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis 
(IRFA), and includes a summary of the significant issues raised by 
public comments in response to the IRFA, NMFS' responses to those 
comments, and a summary of the analyses completed to support the 
action.
    A copy of the FRFA prepared for this final rule is available from 
NMFS (see ADDRESSES). A description of this action, its purpose, and 
its legal basis are contained at the beginning of the preamble to this 
final rule and are not repeated here.
    NMFS published the proposed rule on December 10, 2013 (78 FR 
74079). NMFS prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) 
to accompany this action, and included a summary in the proposed rule. 
The comment period closed on January 9, 2014. No comments were received 
on the IRFA or the economic impacts of the rule more generally.
    The entities directly regulated by this action are those that 
receive allocations of groundfish in the EEZ of the GOA, 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 Central GOA Rockfish Program 
cooperatives. These entities are, therefore, also considered to be 
directly regulated.
    In 2012, there were 1,424 individual catcher vessels with gross 
revenues meeting small entity criteria. These criteria, established by 
the Small Business Administration, include a business involved in 
finfish or shellfish harvesting is a small business if it is 
independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field of 
operation (including its affiliates), and if it has combined annual 
receipts not in excess of $19.0 million for all its affiliated 
operations worldwide in the case of a finfish business, and $5.0 
million in the case of a shellfish business. Some of these vessels are 
members of AFA inshore pollock cooperatives, of GOA rockfish 
cooperatives, or of BSAI crab rationalization cooperatives and, 
therefore, under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) it is the 
aggregate gross receipts of all participating members of the 
cooperative that must meet the threshold. 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 1,378 small catcher vessel 
entities remaining in the GOA groundfish sector. Additionally, in 2012 
there were 32 catcher/processors meeting small entity criteria. After 
taking account of relevant cooperative affiliations, there were seven. 
The average gross revenue for these seven small catcher/processor 
entities was $1.6 million.
    This action does not modify recordkeeping or reporting 
requirements.
    NMFS considered other, alternative harvest strategies when choosing 
the preferred harvest strategy (Alternative 2) in December 2006. These 
included the following:
     Alternative 1: Set TACs to produce fishing mortality 
rates, F, that are equal to maxFABC, unless the sum of the TACs is 
constrained by the OY established in the FMPs. This is equivalent to 
setting TACs to produce harvest levels equal to the maximum permissible 
ABCs, as constrained by OY. The term ``maxFABC'' refers to the maximum 
permissible value of FABC under Amendment 56 to the groundfish FMPs. 
Historically, the TAC has been set at or below the ABC, therefore, this 
alternative represents a likely upper limit for setting the TAC within 
the OY and ABC limits.
     Alternative 3: For species in Tiers 1, 2, and 3, set TAC 
to produce F equal to the most recent 5-year average actual F. For 
species in Tiers 4, 5, and 6, set TAC equal to the most recent 5-year 
average actual catch. For stocks with a high level of scientific 
information, TACs would be set to produce harvest levels equal to the 
most recent 5-year average actual fishing mortality rates. For stocks 
with insufficient scientific information, TACs 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 ABCs, and 
recent average F may provide a better indicator of actual F than FABC 
does.
     Alternative 4: (1) Set TACs for rockfish species in Tier 3 
at F75%. Set TACs for rockfish species in Tier 5 at F=0.5M. Set 
spatially explicit TACs for shortraker and rougheye rockfish in the 
GOA. (2) Taking the rockfish TACs as calculated above, reduce all other 
TACs by a proportion that does not vary across species, so that the sum 
of all TACs, including rockfish TACs, is equal

[[Page 12920]]

to the lower bound of the area OY (116,000 mt in the GOA). This 
alternative sets conservative and spatially explicit TACs for rockfish 
species that are long-lived and late to mature and sets conservative 
TACs for the other groundfish species.
     Alternative 5: (No Action) Set TACs at zero.
    These four alternatives 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 did so in 2007.
    Alternative 1 selected harvest rates that will allow fishermen to 
harvest stocks at the level of ABCs, unless total harvests are 
constrained by the upper bound of the GOA OY of 800,000 metric tons. 
The sums of ABCs in 2014 and 2015 are 640,675 mt and 644,165 mt, 
respectively. The sums of the TACs in 2014 and 2015 are 499,274 mt and 
511,599 mt, respectively. Thus, although the sum of ABCs in each year 
is less than 800,000 metric tons, the sums of the TACs in each year are 
less than the sums of the ABCs.
    In most cases, the Council has set TACs equal to ABCs. The 
divergence between aggregate TACs and aggregate ABCs reflects a variety 
of special species- and fishery-specific circumstances:
     Pacific cod TACs are set equal to 70 percent in the 
Western GOA and 75 percent in the Central GOA of the Pacific cod ABCs 
in each year to account for the guideline harvest levels (GHL) set by 
the State of Alaska for its GHL Pacific cod fisheries (30 and 25 
percent, respectively, of the Western and Central GOA ABCs). Thus, the 
difference between the Federal TACs and ABCs does not actually reflect 
a Pacific cod harvest below the Pacific cod ABC, as the balance is 
available for the State's cod GHL fisheries.
     Shallow-water flatfish and flathead sole TACs are set 
below ABCs in the Western and Central GOA regulatory areas. Arrowtooth 
flounder TACs are set below ABC in all GOA regulatory areas. Catches of 
these flatfish species rarely, if ever, approach the proposed ABCs or 
TACs. Important trawl fisheries in the GOA take halibut PSC, and are 
constrained by limits on the allowable halibut PSC mortality. These 
limits routinely force the closure of trawl fisheries before they have 
harvested the available groundfish ABC. Thus, actual harvests of 
groundfish in the GOA routinely fall short of some ABCs and TACs. 
Markets can also constrain harvests below the TACs, as has been the 
case with arrowtooth flounder, in the past. These TACs are set to allow 
for increased harvest opportunities for these targets while conserving 
the halibut PSC limit for use in other, more fully utilized, fisheries.
     The other rockfish TAC is set below the ABC in the 
Southeast Outside district based on several factors. In addition to 
conservation concerns for the rockfish species in this group, there is 
a regulatory prohibition against using trawl gear east of 140[deg] W. 
longitude. Because most species of other rockfish are caught 
exclusively with trawl gear, the catch of such species with other gear 
types, such as hook-and-line, is low. The commercial catch of other 
rockfish in the Eastern regulatory area, which includes the West 
Yakutat and Southeast Outside districts, has ranged from approximately 
70 mt to 248 mt per year over the last decade.
     The GOA-wide Atka mackerel TAC is set below the ABC. The 
estimates of survey biomass continue to be unreliable in the GOA. 
Therefore, the Council recommended and NMFS agrees that the Atka 
mackerel TAC in the GOA be set at an amount to support incidental catch 
in other directed fisheries.
    Alternative 3 selects harvest rates based on the most recent 5 
years of harvest rates (for species in Tiers 1 through 3) or for the 
most recent 5 years of harvests (for species in Tiers 4 through 6). 
This alternative is inconsistent with the objectives of this action, 
because it does not take account of the most recent biological 
information for this fishery.
    Alternative 4 would lead to significantly lower harvests of all 
species to reduce TACs from the upper end of the OY range in the GOA to 
its lower end of 116,000 mt. Overall, this would reduce 2014 TACs by 
about 77 percent. This would lead to significant reductions in harvests 
of species by small entities. While production declines in the GOA 
would undoubtedly be associated with price increases in the GOA, these 
increases would still be constrained by the availability of 
substitutes, and are very unlikely to offset revenue declines from 
smaller production. Thus, this action would have a detrimental economic 
impact on small entities.
    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 and SIR (see 
ADDRESSES).
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Assistant Administrator for 
Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in 
effectiveness for this rule because delaying this rule would be 
contrary to the public interest. The Plan Team review occurred in 
November 2013, and Council consideration and recommendations occurred 
in December 2013. Accordingly, NMFS' review could not begin until 
January 2014. For all fisheries not currently closed because the TACs 
established under the final 2013 and 2014 harvest specifications (78 FR 
13162, February 26, 2013) were not reached, it is possible that they 
would be closed prior to the expiration of a 30-day delayed 
effectiveness period, because their TACs could be reached within that 
period. If implemented immediately, this rule would allow these 
fisheries to continue because the new TACs implemented by this rule are 
higher than the ones under which they are currently fishing.
    Certain fisheries, such as those for pollock and Pacific cod, are 
intensive, fast-paced fisheries. Other fisheries, such as those for 
sablefish, flatfish, rockfish, Atka mackerel, skates, sculpins, sharks, 
squids, 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 many of these 
fisheries. If this rule allowed for a 30-day delay in effectiveness and 
if a TAC were reached during those 30 days, NMFS would close directed 
fishing or prohibit retention for the applicable species. Any delay in 
allocating the final TACs in these fisheries would cause confusion to 
the industry and potential economic harm through unnecessary discards, 
thus undermining the intent of the rule. Waiving the 30-day delay 
allows NMFS to prevent economic loss to fishermen that could otherwise 
occur should the 2014 TACs be reached. Determining which fisheries may 
close is impossible because these fisheries are affected by several 
factors that cannot be predicted in advance, including fishing effort, 
weather, movement of fishery stocks, and market price. Furthermore, the 
closure of one fishery has a cascading effect on other fisheries by 
freeing-up fishing vessels, allowing them to move from closed fisheries 
to open ones, increasing the fishing capacity in those open fisheries, 
and causing them to close at an accelerated pace.
    In fisheries subject to declining sideboard limits, a failure to 
implement the updated sideboard limits before initial season's end 
could deny the intended economic protection to the non-sideboarded 
sectors. Conversely, in

[[Page 12921]]

fisheries with increasing sideboard limits, economic benefit could be 
denied to the sideboard limited sectors.
    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. This would 
result in confusion for the industry and economic harm from unnecessary 
discard of sablefish that are caught along with Pacific halibut, as 
both hook-and-line sablefish and Pacific halibut are managed under the 
same IFQ program. Immediate effectiveness of the final 2014 and 2015 
harvest specifications will allow the sablefish IFQ fishery to begin 
concurrently with the Pacific halibut IFQ season.
    In addition, the immediate effectiveness of this action is required 
to provide consistent management and conservation of fishery resources 
based on the best available scientific information. This is 
particularly true for those species that have lower 2014 ABCs and TACs 
than those established in the 2013 and 2014 harvest specifications (78 
FR 13162, February 26, 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 
TACs. Therefore, NMFS finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in 
effectiveness under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

Small Entity Compliance Guide

    The following information is a plain language guide to assist small 
entities in complying with this final rule as required by the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This final rule's 
primary purpose is to announce the final 2014 and 2015 harvest 
specifications and prohibited species bycatch allowances for the 
groundfish fisheries of the GOA. This action is necessary to establish 
harvest limits and associated management measures for groundfish during 
the 2014 and 2015 fishing years, and to accomplish the goals and 
objectives of the FMP. This action affects all fishermen who 
participate in the GOA fisheries. The specific amounts of OFL, ABC, 
TAC, and PSC are provided in tables to assist the reader. NMFS will 
announce closures of directed fishing in the Federal Register and 
information bulletins released by the Alaska Region. Affected fishermen 
should keep themselves informed of such closures.

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

    Dated: February 28, 2014.
Paul N. Doremus,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Operations, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-04886 Filed 3-5-14; 8:45 am]
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