NMFS Announces Proposed Rule Related to the Trawl Rationalization Program

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced the publication of a Proposed Rule in the Federal Register on May 21, 2012. This proposed action would delay or revise several portions of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Trawl Rationalization Program (program) regulations. These changes are necessary to enable NMFS to implement new regulations for the program to comply with a court order requiring NMFS to reconsider the initial allocation of Pacific whiting to the shorebased Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) fishery and the at-sea mothership fishery. The proposed rule would affect the transfer of Quota Share (QS) and Incidental Bycatch Quota (IBQ) between QS accounts in the shorebased individual IFQ fishery, and severability in the mothership fishery, both of which would be delayed until NMFS can implement any necessary new regulations in those areas required by the court’s order. Comments on this proposed rule must be received no later than 5 p.m., local time on June 29, 2012.

If you have questions, please contact Ms. Ariel Jacobs, NMFS Northwest Region at 206-526-4491 (phone); or email Ariel.Jacobs@noaa.gov; or visit the NMFS Northwest Region trawl rationalization website at http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Groundfish-Halibut/Groundfish-Fishery-Management/Trawl-Program/index.cfm.