Additions to Shorebased Accounts: Pacific Halibut Top-Up and Surplus Carryover

Pacific halibut quota pounds (QP) will be issued to quota share (QS) accounts, and surplus carryover QP will be issued to vessel accounts on or before April 28, 2017. To view each NMFS transfer, participants may log into their QS or vessel account and click on the ‘Transfer Summary’ tab.

Pacific Halibut Top-Up

In January 2017, NMFS issued interim allocations to the Shorebased IFQ Program and to QS permit owners through their QS accounts. The interim value for Pacific halibut was a conservative allocation to remain in place until the final harvest specifications for the whiting fishery were implemented. NMFS will credit additional Pacific halibut QP to (i.e., “top-up”) QS accounts on or before April 28, 2017 based on information from the International Pacific Halibut Commission’s final meeting on January 23-27, 2017. Please move all QP from QS accounts to vessel accounts before the September 1, 2017 deadline.

Surplus Carryover – Vessel Accounts

In the Shorebased IFQ Program, NMFS will also credit surplus carryover pounds for some species from 2016 vessel accounts to eligible 2017 vessel accounts, up to the daily and annual vessel limits. Surplus carryover pounds will be issued on or before Friday, April 28, 2017 and the IFQ message will be updated when pounds are added.

Because of the April 4, 2014 Conservation Law Foundation v. Pritzker ruling, NMFS cannot issue carryover for any IFQ species in an amount where the sum of surplus carryover and the annual catch limit (ACL) would exceed the acceptable biological catch (ABC). NMFS issued surplus carryover for the following species using the normal 10% carryover limit, since this issuance of pounds will not exceed the ABC: Bocaccio rockfish south of 40°10′ N. lat.; Cowcod south of 40°10′ N. lat.; Dover sole; Pacific cod; Pacific halibut (IBQ) north of 40°10′ N. lat.; Pacific ocean perch north of 40°10′ N. lat.; Sablefish north of 36° N. lat.; and Yelloweye rockfish.

In addition, NMFS issued surplus carryover for the following three species using reduced carryover limits so that the issuance of pounds would not exceed the ABC: Minor Shelf Rockfish south of 40°10′ N. lat.; Minor Slope Rockfish south of 40°10′ N. lat.; and Sablefish south of 36° N. lat.

Consistent with the PFMC’s March 2013 recommendation, NMFS will not issue surplus carryover for Pacific whiting, to adhere to the international whiting treaty agreement, where a method for carryover of unused Pacific whiting already exists. Since the Pacific halibut Total Constant Exploitation Yield for area 2A (Washington, Oregon and California) is set by international agreement, and there is no ACL, the court’s holding is not applicable to this species, and NMFS will continue with its past practice.

NMFS will issue surplus carryover to be consistent with daily or annual vessel limits, and any surplus carryover putting vessel accounts above vessel limits will become permanently expired. Additional information can be found on the top of the IFQ Accounts Log-in page, at, under “Important Messages”.

NOTE: Surplus carryover quota pounds are the first quota pounds debited from eligible vessel accounts for the current year. If you currently have any catch this year for a species qualifying for carryover, and receive surplus carryover pounds from 2016 to 2017, carryover quota pounds will be used first and current year quota pounds will be restored to your vessel account. To see your actual surplus carryover amounts, please log into your vessel account: click on the arrow on the account balance tab (top left) and then click on transfer summary. Look for the NMFS carryover credit record, click on it and the amounts of carryover will appear below. Please contact the Fishery Permit Office if you have questions.