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Title 5 . Fish and Game
Chapter 27 . Transportation, Possession and Release of Live Fish; Aquatic Farming
Section 865. Bristol Bay Herring Management Plan

5 AAC 27.865. Bristol Bay Herring Management Plan

(a) When managing the Bristol Bay commercial herring fishery, the primary objectives of the department will be to prosecute an orderly and manageable fishery, while striving for the highest level of product quality with a minimum of waste.

(b) To ensure that no gear group is totally disadvantaged, the Board of Fisheries directs the department to take the following actions given the specified circumstances:

(1) When circumstances preclude the department from adequately assessing the biomass, the fishery must be managed for an exploitation based on the pre-season projected return.

(2) Repealed 5/2/92.

(3) Whenever possible, openings for both gear types must begin during the hours of daylight, and special consideration will be given to afford the maximum amount of daylight.

(4) The department may allow only one gear type to operate in an area during any open period.

(5) Repealed 4/7/90.

(6) Repealed 4/7/90.

(7) The maximum exploitation rate for the Bristol Bay herring stock is 20 percent. Before opening the sac roe fishery, the department shall set aside approximately 1,500 short tons for the Togiak District herring spawn-on-kelp fishery, and seven percent of the remaining available harvest for the Dutch Harbor food and bait fishery. If the actual harvest is less than the spawn-on-kelp guideline harvest level, the commissioner may reallocate 50 percent of the remainder to the Togiak District herring sac roe fishery.

(8) After the spawn-on-kelp harvest and the Dutch Harbor food and bait fishery have been subtracted, the remaining harvestable surplus is allocated to the sac roe fishery. The department shall manage for a removal of 30 percent of that surplus by the gillnet fleet and 70 percent by the purse seine fleet. To maintain those percentages inseason, the commissioner shall make adjustments to fishing periods and fishing areas by emergency order. After the gillnet fleet and purse seine fleet have harvested at least 80 percent of each gear group's allocation, the commissioner may allow either fleet to harvest its remaining allocation without further restrictions.

(9) If a manageable separation of the year classes occurs, an exploitation rate of up to 20 percent may be allowed on the younger age herring (four years or less), and no fishery may be considered if this recruit population is less than 20,000 short tons.

(10) Late season (post-peak) sac roe openings must be based on one or more of the following criteria:

(A) a definable increase in the biomass of herring present on the fishing grounds;

(B) a major shift in the age composition of the herring in a definable biomass that is large enough to allow a harvest; and

(C) a major improvement in the roe maturity of fish sampled over a broad area, indicating the arrival of a quantity of new herring.

History: In effect before 1982; am 4/14/82, Register 82; am 4/28/84, Register 90; am 4/2/88, Register 105; am 4/7/90, Register 114; am 4/2/92, Register 122; am 4/5/2001, Register 158; am 6/22/2001, Register 158; am 4/9/2004, Register 170; am 4/21/2004, Register 170

Authority: AS 16.05.060

AS 16.05.251

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Last modified 7/05/2006