National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Notice of guideline harvest level.
NMFS provides notice of the guideline harvest level (GHL) for the guided sport halibut fishery (charter fishery) in the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) regulatory area 2C of 1,432,000 pounds (649.5 mt), and a GHL in the IPHC regulatory area 3A of 3,650,000 pounds (1,655.6 mt).
The GHL is effective beginning 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 1, 2004, and will close on 2359 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2004. This period is specified by the IPHC as the sport fishing season in all waters of Alaska.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Glenn Merrill, 907-586-7228, or email at email@example.com.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
NMFS implemented a final rule to establish GHLs in IPHC regulatory areas 2C and 3A for the harvest of Pacific halibut (Hippoglosses stenolepis) by the charter fishery on August 8, 2003 (68 FR 47256). The GHL is intended to serve as a benchmark for participants in the charter fishery.
This announcement is consistent with § 300.65(i)(2), which requires that GHLs for IPHC regulatory areas 2C and 3A be specified by NMFS and announced by publication in the Federal Register no later than 30 days after receiving information from the IPHC which establishes the constant exploitation yield (CEY) for halibut in IPHC regulatory areas 2C and 3A for that year. Based on the regulations at § 300.65(i)(1), the CEY established by the IPHC in 2004 in regulatory area 2C results in a GHL of 1,432,000 pounds (649.5 mt), and, in regulatory area 3A, results in a GHL of 3,650,000 pounds (1,655.6 mt).
This notice does not require any regulatory action by NMFS and is intended to serve as an announcement of the GHL in Areas 2C and 3A for 2004. If a GHL is exceeded in 2004, based on information received from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, NMFS will notify the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) in writing within 30 days pursuant to regulations at § 300.65(i)(3). The Council is not required to take action, but may recommend additional management measures after receiving notification that a GHL has been exceeded.
This action does not require any additional regulatory action by NMFS and does not impose any additional restrictions on harvests by the charter fishery. If the GHL is exceeded in any year, the Council would be notified, but no action would be required to be taken. This process of notification is intended to provide the Council an indication of the level of harvests by the charter fishery in a given year and could be used to prompt future action.Start Signature
Dated: February 10, 2004.
Bruce C. Morehead,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 04-3261 Filed 2-10-04; 2:55 pm]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S