Reconsideration of the Allocation of Whiting

The initial allocations of whiting were challenged in Pacific Dawn v. Bryson, No. C10-4829 TEH (N.D. Cal.) (Pacific Dawn). Following a decision on summary judgment that NMFS had not considered all of the required information and failed to provide an adequate basis in setting the initial whiting allocations, the court, on February 21, 2012, issued an order remanding the regulations establishing the initial allocations of whiting for the shorebased IFQ fishery and the at-sea mothership fishery “for further consideration” consistent with the court’s December 22, 2011, summary judgment ruling. The order required NMFS to implement revised regulations before the 2013 Pacific whiting fishing season began on April 1, 2013.  

On February 29, 2012, NMFS informed the Council of the order issued in Pacific Dawn. NMFS requested that the Council initiate the reconsideration of the initial allocations for QS of whiting in the shorebased IFQ fishery and for whiting catch history assignments in the at-sea mothership fishery. NMFS also determined that a rulemaking was needed to delay or revise portions of the existing regulations while the Council and NMFS reconsidered the initial allocation of whiting, and informed the Council of its intent to publish an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to notify the public of the reconsideration and the process the agency and Council would follow.

NMFS published the ANPR on April 4, 2012 (77 FR 20337), which, among other things, announced the court’s order, the Council meetings that would be addressing the whiting reconsideration (April, June, and September of 2012), and NMFS’ plan to publish two rulemakings in response to the court order.  These two rulemakings are referred to as Reconsideration of Allocation of Whiting (RAW), Rules 1 and 2 (RAW 1 and RAW 2, respectively).

Relevant Regulations

Shorebased IFQ Program

50 CFR 660.140

Mothership Coop Program

50 CFR 660.150


Additional materials may be found on the Pacific Fishery Management Council website in past briefing books.