SEAFOODNEWS.COM — August 10, 2015 — NMFS has given Gulf of Alaska groundfish trawlers in the non-rockfish program Sector an additional 1,600 Chinook salmon to their prohibited species catch (PSC) allowance in an emergency ruling.

The implementation of the emergency decision was done after the North Pacific Management Council (NPFMC) recommended an emergency rule in a 10-1 vote during its June meeting. On May 3, the Gulf of Alaska groundfish sector was forced to close after fishermen unexpectedly reached its annual 2,700 Chinook salmon allowance in the Western and Central Gulf of fishery.

According to NMFS the additional limit of 1,600 Chinook salmon PSC is likely to restore a substantial portion of the forgone groundfish harvest and associated revenue made unavailable by the closure. It will allow the sector to harvest its recent average amount of groundfish for the remainder of 2015, while keeping the total Chinook salmon PSC well below the annual threshold for all Gulf of Alaska trawl fisheries.

“NOAA Fisheries has determined that an emergency exists because the early closure of the Non-Rockfish Program CV Sector’s groundfish fisheries is causing significant economic detriment to harvesters, processors and the community of Kodiak,” NMFS said in a press release on Friday.

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