NMFS proposes to amend the hired master regulations of the Individual Fishing Quota Program (IFQ Program) for the fixed-gear commercial Pacific halibut and sablefish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) and the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The IFQ Program allows initial recipients of catcher vessel halibut and sablefish quota share (QS) to hire a vessel master to harvest an annual allocation of individual fishing quota (IFQ) derived from the QS. If this action is approved, an initial QS recipient would not be allowed to use a hired master to harvest IFQ derived from catcher vessel QS that they received by transfer after February 12, 2010, with a limited exception for small amounts of QS. This action is necessary to maintain a predominantly owner-operated fishery. In addition, this action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the BSAI, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the GOA, and other applicable law
Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m., Alaska local time, on May 28, 2013.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by FDMS Docket Number NOAA-NMFS-2012-0185, by any of the following methods: