[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 6 (Monday, January 11, 1999)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 1539-1541]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-532]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[I.D. 122898F]

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Community 
Development Quota Program

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

ACTION: Approval of amendments to the 1998 through 2000 Multispecies 
Community Development Plans.


SUMMARY: NMFS announces the approval of recommendations made by the 
State of Alaska (State) for the amendments to the 1998 through 2000 
Multispecies Community Development Plans (CDPs) under the Western 
Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program. This action is 
necessary to announce NMFS's decision to approve the State's 
recommendation and is intended to further the goals and objectives of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

DATES: Approval of the amendments to the CDPs and the 1999 CDQ and 
prohibited species quota (PSQ) allocations are effective January 11, 

ADDRESSES: Copies of the findings made by NMFS in approving the State's 
recommendations may be obtained from the Alaska Region, National Marine

[[Page 1540]]

Fisheries Service, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802, Attn: Lori Gravel.




    The current pollock CDPs and pollock CDQ allocations expire on 
December 31, 1998. Under the regulations implementing the multispecies 
(MS) CDQ Program (63 FR 8356, February 19, 1998 and 63 FR 30381, June 
4, 1998), pollock will be combined with the other groundfish species 
and managed under the MS CDQ regulations through the MS CDPs. NMFS 
initially approved the 1998 through 2000 MS CDPs on March 25, 1998, for 
Pacific halibut, fixed gear sablefish, and crab. Amendments to the 1998 
through 2000 MS CDPs, which NMFS approved on September 16, 1998, added 
allocations for all groundfish species except pollock and fixed gear 
sablefish and for the prohibited species quotas. At that time, 1998 
through 2000 allocation recommendations were approved for all 
groundfish and prohibited species, except arrowtooth flounder, squid, 
``other species,'' chinook salmon PSQ, and non-chinook salmon PSQ, 
which were approved for 1998 only. The State recommended that 1999 and 
2000 allocation recommendations for these five CDQ and PSQ categories 
be made at the same time the allocation recommendations were made for 
pollock CDQ so that bycatch needs associated with the pollock CDQ and 
fixed gear sablefish CDQ, both of which are being integrated into the 
MS CDQ Program in 1999, could be addressed.
    Eligible western Alaska communities submitted six applications for 
amendments to the MS CDPs for pollock and the related bycatch species 
to the State under 50 CFR 679.30. The State conducted a public hearing 
on September 15, 1998, and consulted the North Pacific Fishery 
Management Council (Council) concerning the proposed amendments to the 
MS CDPs during the Council's October 1998 meeting. The Council 
concurred in the State's recommendations to NMFS. The State conducted a 
second public hearing on November 16, 1998, to discuss possible changes 
to its allocation recommendations as a result of the State's 
determination that one of the CDQ groups had not submitted a complete 
    NMFS received the State's recommended allocations of pollock CDQ 
and related bycatch species on November 19, 1998. These recommendations 
are for 1999 allocations only so that the State can assess the impact 
of the American Fisheries Act on the pollock CDQ fisheries prior to 
making pollock CDQ allocation recommendations for 2000. In reviewing 
the proposed amendments to the MS CDPs, the State determined that one 
of the CDQ groups had not included one of its CDQ investments as a CDQ 
project. Therefore, the State determined that only five of the six 
proposed CDP amendments were complete. However, the State is 
recommending that all of the proposed amendments to the MS CDPs, and 
the associated CDQ and PSQ allocation percentages for 1999, be 
approved. It acknowledges that current disagreements about the 
definition of a CDQ project remain unresolved. The State intends to 
conduct a comprehensive review of the CDQ Program to address this 
issue. Upon completion of this review, the State will make 
recommendations for regulatory amendments, if necessary.
    In approving the State's recommendations for the 1999 percentage 
allocations of pollock CDQ and other related bycatch species CDQ and 
PSQ, NMFS recognizes that further clarification of the definition of a 
CDQ project is needed. NMFS further recognizes that all of the CDPs 
must be reviewed to ensure that this definition is consistently 
applied. This type of review cannot be conducted in time for NMFS to 
make determinations and for the CDQ groups to revise and re-submit 
current CDPs prior to the start of the 1999 pollock CDQ fisheries next 
month. Therefore, NMFS agrees to accept the State's recommendations 
that the amendments to the 1998 through 2000 MS CDPs be approved to add 
the percentage allocations of pollock and other associated bycatch 
species for 1999.
    Prior to review of the next CDQ or PSQ allocation recommendations 
for 2000, NMFS will review all current CDPs to determine whether CDQ 
investments are properly categorized as CDQ projects. The CDQ groups 
will be requested to amend their CDPs if necessary. In addition, NMFS 
will consult with the Council and the State to determine whether 
proposed regulatory amendments are necessary to clarify the definition 
of a CDQ project.
    NMFS is approving the State's recommended percentage allocation for 
squid in 1999. Although squid likely will be removed from the CDQ 
Program in 1999 under an emergency rule implementing the American 
Fisheries Act, approval of this percentage allocation is necessary so 
that it will be in place if the emergency rule expires.
    The allocations to each CDQ group are presented in the table below. 
NMFS's findings regarding this decision are also available (see 

[[Page 1541]]

    Selected Multispecies Groundfish and Prohibited Species Community Development Quota Allocations for 1999
                                       APICDA       BBEDC        CBSFA         CVRF        NSEDC        YDFDA
     Species or Species Group        (percent)    (percent)    (percent)    (percent)    (percent)    (percent)
Pollock...........................           16           21            5           22           22           14
Arrowtooth Flounder...............           18           21            9           16           16           20
Squid.............................           16           21            5           22           22           14
Other Species.....................           19           22            9           14           15           21
Chinook Salmon PSQ................           16           21            5           22           22           14
Non-chinook Salmon PSQ............           16           21            5           22           22          14
APICDA = Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association
BBEDC = Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation
CBSFA = Central Bering Sea Fishermen's Association
CVRF = Coastal Villages Region Fund
NSEDC = Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation
YDFDA = Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association
PSQ = prohibited species quota

    Dated: January 5, 1999.
Gary C. Matlock,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
[FR Doc. 99-532 Filed 1-8-99; 8:45 am]