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National Marine Fisheries Service

09/16/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/16/2021 18:45

Reapportionment of Tribal Pacific Whiting Allocation for 2021

Regulations at 50 CFR 660.131(h) provide for the reapportionment of Pacific whiting tribal allocations that the NOAA Fisheries Regional Administrator determines will not be used by the end of the fishing year.

The best available information in early September 2021 indicates that at least 34,645 metric tons (mt) of the tribal allocation of 64,645 mt for the 2021 tribal Pacific whiting fishery will not be used by December 31, 2021. Reapportioning this amount to the non-tribal fishery is expected to allow for greater attainment of the Total Allowable Catch. In addition, recent conversations between NOAA Fisheries and tribal fishery managers indicate that reapportioning 34,645 mt, leaving a tribal allocation of 30,000 mt, will not limit tribal harvest opportunities for the remainder of the year.

As required under the 2017 Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7(a)(2) biological opinion on the effects of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan on listed salmonids, NOAA Fisheries considered the number and bycatch rate of Chinook salmon taken by the Pacific whiting fishery sectors. Based on the best available information in early September 2021, NOAA Fisheries determined there is little risk that the reapportionment will cause the Pacific whiting sector fisheries to exceed the guideline limit of 11,000 Chinook salmon under current regulations and practices. At the time of this notice, incidental take of Chinook salmon by the non-tribal sector is 4% of the guideline limit. NOAA Fisheries will continue to monitor Chinook salmon bycatch as part of inseason management.

NOAA Fisheries is taking action at this time to reapportion 34,645 mt of Pacific whiting. Such reapportionments are disbursed to the other Pacific whiting fishery sectors in the same proportion as each sector's allotted portion of the fishery harvest guideline specified in the regulations. All non-tribal commercial sectors have expressed an interest in this potential for additional 2021 harvest of Pacific whiting. Whiting quota pounds will be allocated to non-tribal commercial sector quota share accounts as soon as feasible.

Effective 1200 Noon, local time, on September 15, 2021, 34,645 mt of Pacific whiting are reallocated from the tribal allocation to the non-tribal commercial Pacific whiting fishery. The revised Pacific whiting allocations by sector for 2021 are listed below:

Allocation

Reapportionment (mt)

C/P Coop Program

34%

11,779.30

MS Coop Program

24%

8,314.80

Shorebased IFQ Program

42%

14,550.90

Total reapportioned

34,645.00