ADFG just released the following news release about the requirement for a federal fisheries permit because of Demersal rockfish.
Date: May 30, 2007Â Time: 1:00 p.m.
FEDERAL PERMIT REQUIRED FOR TROLLERS FISHING IN FEDERAL WATERS
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the following information concerning Federal Fisheries Permit requirements for trollers participating in the troll fishery in the EEZ. The state groundfish regulation adopted by the Alaska Board of Fisheries requiring full retention of demersal shelf rockfish has been in effect since July 25, 2000. 5AAC 28.171 ROCKFISH POSSESSIONÂ AND LANDING REQUIREMENTS FOR EASTERN GULF OF ALASKA AREA requires that â€œ(a) in the Southeast District, a CFEC permit holder must retain, weigh, and report all demersal shelf rockfish taken.â€ The DSR assemblage is defined to include yelloweye, canary, china, copper, quillback, rosethorn and tiger rockfish. This regulation was adopted since it is considered necessary for the sustainable management of DSR. The Southeast District encompasses all waters of the Eastern Gulf of Alaska east of 144Â° W. longitude including waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) east of 144Â° W. longitude.
The EEZ is defined in groundfish regulation 5AAC 28.010 (b) to mean â€œall the waters adjacent to a registration areaâ€¦â€ (state waters within 3 miles of the Alaska coastline) â€œâ€¦seaward to a boundary line drawn in such a manner that each point on the line is 200 nautical miles from the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured.â€
In a recent News Release NOAA Fisheries/NMFS has interpreted 50 CFR Part 679.4(b)(1) to requireany troller fishing in the EEZ to possess a Federal Fisheries Permit (FFP) because ADF&GÂ groundfish regulations currently require the full retention of demersal shelf rockfish (DSR) caught in the troll fishery.
The following News Release was posted on the NOAA Fisheries/NMFS web site:
http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/index/infobulletins/bulletin.asp?BulletinID=3571 on April 13, 2007:Because of the above interpretation, on behalf of salmon troll fishermen who are planning to fish in the EEZ or who think they may fish in the EEZ, when the EEZ opens during the summer troll season on July 1, the Department recommends trollers obtain a Federal Fisheries Permit. Trolling in the EEZÂ without an FFP could result in federal enforcement action. To obtain this permit troll fishermen should submit an FFP Application As soon as possible in order to receive the FFP prior to the opening of the summer troll fishery on July 1. The FFP application form can be found at http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/ram/FFPAPP.pdf or may be requested from NMFS by calling the Restricted Access Management Program at either (800) 304-4846 or (907) 586-7202 and selecting Option 2. The department has been informed by NMFS that applications generally require 10 days to be processed following receipt. If you already possess an FFP for another fishery, but do not have an FFP for the troll fishery, you must resubmit an FFP application and check the â€œtrollâ€ box on the application.
Please note:Â Only persons who are U.S. Citizens are authorized to receive or hold a Federal Fisheries Permit.