Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) Control Rule

Allowable Biological Catch (ABC) Control Rule

In December 2016, the Council directed staff to start work on a plan amendment that would modify the ABC Control Rule to address flexibility allowed under the Magnuson-Stevens Act and revise how uncertainty and risk tolerance are addressed in setting Acceptable Biological Catch. 

An options paper has been developed considering actions to

  • modify the ABC Control Rule
  • specify an approach for determining the acceptable risk of overfishing
  • specify an approach for determining the probability of rebuilding success for overfished stocks
  • allow phase-in of ABC changes
  • allow carry-over of unused portions of the annual catch limit.

Scoping was held in January 2019 and comments were reviewed in March 2019. The Council discussed this amendment at its December 2020 meeting and provided guidance to staff. The Scientific & Statistical Committee will review topics related to this amendment at their April 2021 meeting and provide recommendations to the Council.

The Council is scheduled to review actions and alternatives language throughout 2021 and consider a draft amendment for public hearings in December 2021. 


Council Process

  • Pre-Scoping:  2018
  • Scoping:  January 2019
  • Public Hearing:  
  • Final Approval:  

NMFS Process

  • Secretarial Review:  
  • Rule Making:  
  • Implementation: