amend the official record. The issuance of QS began in November 1994 and was largely completed by January 1995.
A portion of the Bering Sea halibut and sablefish TACs was set aside for a CDQ program (see NRC, 1999a). To compensate commercial fishermen who had established catch history in the Bering Sea, a portion of the QS in the Gulf of Alaska (about 3.5%) was given to Bering Sea fishermen.
Accumulation and Transfer of Quota Shares. Rules on the accumulation and transfer of halibut and sablefish IFQs are constantly evolving. In general, there are limits on accumulation and transferability. No person (individual, company, corporation) may own more than 0.5% of the total halibut QS in combined Areas 2C, 3A, and 3B; more than 0.5% of the total halibut QS in Areas 4A-E; or more than 1% of the total QS for Area 2C. No person may control more than 1 % of the total Bering Sea-Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska sablefish QS or more than 1% of the total sablefish QS east of 140°W (East Yakutat and Southeast Alaska, see Figure G.5). Individuals whose initial allocation exceeded the ownership limits were grandfathered-in, but prohibited from acquiring additional QS.
Transferability is also restricted across vessel size categories. Four vessel categories were defined for halibut: (1) catcher vessels less than 35 feet in length overall; (2) catcher vessels 35 to 60 feet in length overall; (3) catcher vessels more than 60 feet in length overall; and (4) catcher-processor vessels. Three categories were defined for sablefish: (1) catcher vessels less than 60 feet in length overall; (2) catcher vessels 60 feet in length overall or larger; and, (3) catcher-processor vessels. The initial allocation of QS was based on the catch record within each vessel class. Transfer of catcher vessel QS between vessel classes was initially prohibited. However, recent program amendments permit small vessels to fish QS that was initially allocated to large vessels.
Catcher vessel QS is transferable only to "qualified" buyers of quota. Buyers must be initial recipients of catcher vessel QS, or they must be able to demonstrate 150 days of accumulated commercial fishing experience. Catcher-processor vessel QS is transferable to any person. Leasing of QS (sale of IFQ) is restricted for catcher vessels but allowable for catcher-processor vessels. Initial QS recipients were permitted to lease up to 10% of their QS during 1995, 1996, and 1997. An amendment to extend leasing provisions is under consideration. Trawlers cannot buy halibut or sablefish QS for directed fishing or bycatch. All QS transfers must be approved by the NMFS RAM Division.
Setting of Quotas and Other Biological Parameters. The setting of quotas continues to be based on the process that was in place before the adoption of IFQs. The IPHC (for halibut) and the NPFMC (for sablefish) are responsible for determining the ABC and OFL. The NPFMC is responsible for setting the TAC for commercial fisheries such that the sum of the commercial, sport, subsistence, treaty catches, and bycatch mortality is less than or equal to the OFL. The