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(a) Unless otherwise provided in this chapter,
(1) in a groundfish fishery, a CFEC permit holder may not have on board a vessel operated by that permit holder, bycatch of any other species or species group of groundfish;
(2) in a halibut fishery, a CFEC permit holder may not have on board a vessel operated by that permit holder, bycatch of any species or species group of groundfish.
(b) Notwithstanding (a) of this section or any other provision of this chapter, during times when the commissioner determines it necessary for conservation of the resource, to avoid waste of a bycatch species, to prevent overharvest of a bycatch species, or to facilitate consistency of the regulations in an area where state and federal jurisdiction overlap, the commissioner may close and reopen fishing seasons to provide for changes to groundfish bycatch levels, as provided in this subsection. The commissioner, by emergency order, may close a directed groundfish season and immediately reopen a season during which a CFEC permit holder may have on board a bycatch level of another groundfish species, established by the commissioner and stated in the emergency order, of up to 20 percent, by weight, of the directed groundfish species on board the vessel. Regarding a directed halibut fishery, the commissioner, by emergency order, may close and immediately reopen the fishing season for a bycatch groundfish species during which a CFEC halibut permit holder may have on board a bycatch level of that groundfish species, established by the commissioner and stated in the emergency order, of up to 20 percent, by weight, of the halibut on board the vessel. If a CFEC permit holder has on board the permit holder's vessel fish taken in more than one directed fishery for which a bycatch level has been established under this subsection, each applicable bycatch level percentage is applied to the weight of the fish taken in the applicable directed fishery and the resulting amounts are added together to determine the total weight of the bycatch species that may be on board the vessel.
(c) In the waters of Alaska,
(1) a CFEC permit holder who has a groundfish species on board the permit holder's vessel may not operate groundfish gear in an area in which the taking of that species of groundfish is prohibited;
(2) a CFEC permit holder, while taking fish in an area or having taken fish in an area during the same trip, may not have on board the permit holder's vessel an aggregate amount of a groundfish species that exceeds the amount allowed by regulation for that area, regardless of where the groundfish were taken.
(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, if the operator of a catcher/processor vessel has written authorization from the department, the operator may retain on board the vessel an amount of processed fish that exceeds a limit set by this chapter. The department will issue the written authorization if completed fish tickets for all fish on board the vessel have been submitted to the department or an authorized department representative before the beginning of the next fishing period in which the operator intends to fish.
(e) A CFEC permit holder operating a vessel fishing for groundfish shall retain
(1) all pollock and Pacific cod taken when a directed fishery for pollock or Pacific cod is open; or
(2) the maximum retainable bycatch of pollock and Pacific cod taken, specified in 50 C.F.R. 679.20, revised as of October 1, 1996 and amended through May 7, 1997, when a directed fishery for pollock or Pacific cod is closed.
History: Eff. 6/15/95, Register 134; am 12/31/97, Register 144; am 5/31/98, Register 146
Authority: AS 16.05.060
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Last modified 7/05/2006